The Texas AFL-CIO's constituency groups—the A. Philip Randolph Institute, AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Pride At Work and Texas Alliance for Retired Americans—are unions' bridge to diverse communities, creating and strengthening partnerships to enhance the standard of living for all workers and their families.
The groups also promote the full participation of women and minorities in the union movement and ensure unions hear and respond to the concerns of the communities they represent.
To A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, APRl's co-founders, the fight for workers' rights and civil rights were inseparable. Randolph (1889-1979) was the greatest black labor leader in American history and the father of the modern American civil rights movement. Rustin (1912-1987), a leading civil rights and labor activist and strategist, was the chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Randolph's greatest protege.
Randolph and Rustin forged an alliance between the civil rights movement and the labor movement. They recognized that blacks and working people of all colors share the same goals: political and social freedom and economic justice. This Black-Labor Alliance helped the civil rights movement achieve one of its greatest victories - passage of the Voting Rights Act, which removed the last remaining legal harriers to broad black political participation. Inspired by this success, Randolph and Rustin founded A. Philip Randolph Institute in 1965 to continue the struggle for social, political and economic justice for all working Americans. APRI is an Organization of Black Trade Unionist to Fight for Racial Equality and Economic Justice. Today, APRI is led by President Clayola Brown whose vision and energy has sparked a new beginning for our organization and for the movement as a whole.
The Union Veterans Council brings working class veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact us most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed VA.
Additionally, we hold private enterprise and elected officials accountable for their words and actions. We believe wholeheartedly that the ability for someone to self-identify as “pro-veteran” isn’t determined by what lapel pin they don or what catchphrase they employ; veterans face real issues that require real actions—constructive actions that lead to positive solutions.
At the Union Veterans Council, we fight every day for those who have fought for us.
Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers, most of who are union members, and our allies advancing worker, immigrant and civil rights. Since its founding, APALA has played a unique role in addressing the workplace issues of the 660,000 AAPI union members and in serving as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the AAPI community. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has more than 20 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.
APALA is dedicated to promoting political education and voter registration programs among AAPIs, and to the training, empowerment, and leadership of AAPIs within the labor movement and APA community. Furthermore, APALA works to defend and advocate for the civil and human rights of AAPIs, immigrants and all people of color, and continues to develop ties within international labor organizations, especially in the Asia-Pacific Rim.
Since the earliest days of this nation when democracy was built on racial exploitation, black workers have risked their lives to protect and empower their communities through agitation, collective action and faith. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists proudly carries that tradition into the 21st century.
CBTU is not a black separatist or civil rights organization. It is the fiercely independent voice of black workers within the trade union movement, challenging organized labor to be more relevant to the needs and aspirations of Black and poor workers.
At the same time, CBTU is recognized as a potent economic and political force within the African American community. One of every five black workers (20%) belongs to a union, and black union members earn 40 percent more than do non-union black workers. In the political arena, CBTU has leveraged the vast resources of unions to mobilize black voters to influence elections and public policy at every level of government.
And long before globalization caught the attention of America's working families, CBTU was challenging the gaping disparity of wealth, power and living standards throughout the world, especially in African and Caribbean countries. CBTU also was the first American labor organization to actively oppose white minority rule in Southern Africa. CBTU has been the catalyst for actions against other human rights violators as well.
Since its founding conference in 1972, CBTU's stature among African American workers has grown. Currently, more than 50 different international and national unions are represented in CBTU. With 50 chapters nationwide and one in Ontario, Canada, CBTU is maximizing the strength and influence of black workers in unions and empowering their communities.
The Coalition of Labor Union Women is America's only national organization for union women. Formed in 1974, CLUW is a nonpartisan organization within the union movement.
The primary mission of CLUW is to unify all union women in a viable organization to determine our common problems and concerns and to develop action programs within the framework of our unions to deal effectively with our objectives.
At its founding convention in Chicago, Illinois, CLUW adopted four basic goals of action: to promote affirmative action in the workplace; to strengthen the role of women in unions; to organize the unorganized women; and to increase the involvement of women in the political and legislative process.
These goals continue to be the cornerstone of CLUW's activities as members speak out for equal pay, child and elder care benefits, job security, safe workplaces, affordable health care, contraceptive equity, and protection from sexual harassment and violence at work.
With members from 54 international and national unions across the U.S. and Canada, CLUW has a strong network of more than 40 chapters. CLUW is endorsed by the AFL-CIO and its international and national unions. CLUW local chapters educate members, keep them up-to-date on a variety of issues of concern to working families, and provide a support network for women in unions.
The 1950’s brought many Latino activists to the forefront of the civil rights movement. These trade unionists struggled to open the doors of opportunity for Latinos. They fundamentally believed that through the labor movement and the electoral process, Latinos would be able to strive for social dignity, economic equality, access to the political process and a higher quality of life for every Latino working family.
These ideals became part of the “American Dream.” With this dream in mind, Latino trade unionists from throughout the U.S. and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico convened and made a commitment to promote the social, economic and political progress of the Latino community. In 1972 they founded the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). This organization would devote itself to making the American dream a reality for all working people. It aimed to meet those goals by working collaboratively to empower Latinos in unions and help strengthen the labor movement by educating Latino and immigrant workers about the role of unionization in achieving just and safe workplaces.
Since its inception in 1972, LCLAA has remained a grassroots organization driven and directed by Latino labor leaders who understand the importance of unionization in helping workers secure rights and protections on the job, empowering them to become voices for justice and change in their communities. We are committed to the growth and progress of the labor movement and the Latino community. This commitment combined with the relentless work ethic of our chapters and leaders has helped LCLAA play a major role in the historic elections of Latinos at all levels of government. LCLAA has made it its mission to transmit the assets of the Latino community to the labor movement, the government and beyond. As a result, from local city mayors to Federal Congressional positions, Latinos are now better represented in the political life of this country.
Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. We are an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations) that organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice. From our national office in Washington, DC, we coordinate and support more than 20 Chapters across the country.
We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LGBTQ Community about the benefits of a union contract for LGBTQ working people, and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBTQ community.
We organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” We oppose all forms of discrimination on the job and in our unions based on sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion or political views.
TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS
The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans is a part of a 4.5 million member national Alliance for Retired Americans with organizations in 35 states. TARA as the Texas group is known, seeks to enroll, educate and mobilize retired union, senior and community activists into a statewide grassroots movement advocating on behalf of Texas retirees and seniors. Both union and community retirees become members for a nominal yearly donation. We welcome members of any age who are interested in preserving and defending the right to retire, which is under constant attack. Our motto is “Let’s not be the last generation to retire”, as we work to save the earned benefits of both current and future retirees.
TARA has active chapters in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi and surrounding area), and San Antonio, with charters soon to come for chapters in East Texas and Houston. Members have regular meetings to inform them about various issues, but also take actions as they “hit the streets” to express their views on a variety of topics. These actions include No Cuts to Social Security/Medicare/ Medicaid; No Fast Track/TPP due to increased drug and medical device costs; Raise The Wage as many seniors still work and can never retire; Stand Up To ALEC; Expand Medicaid in Texas; and No Privatizing of Our Schools. TARA and all state groups yearly celebrate the birthdays of Medicare and Social Security with special events such as the 2015 celebrations of Medicare Turns 50 and Social Security turns 80 in a number of Texas cities. TARA members become Deputy Voter Registrars to work registering senior voters and providing Vote By Mail applications to fight the oppressive Texas Voter ID Law. Calls, emails and in person visits to Congressional and State officials, both in Washington DC and Texas, are a regular part of TARA actions as we keep elected officials informed about all our senior issues.
We welcome you to join us in our fight to preserve retirement. Please visit our website at www.texasretiredamericans.org or our Facebook page at Texas Alliance for Retired Americans for more information. You may contact Field Organizer Judy Bryant at Judy4TARA@aol.com, or TARA President Gene Lantz at email@example.com.