April 10th, 2017


Contacts: John Patrick,
Rick Levy, or Ed Sills, 
(512) 477-6195

If Minors Can Work Without Parental Consent, They Should Be Able to Unionize Without Parental Consent

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate today demonstrated they “have no sense of irony or shame” after endorsing a double standard requiring minors to obtain parental consent to join a labor union in Texas, Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said.

 SB 75 by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, won tentative approval today on a 20-11 vote.

  “If minors in Texas can work without parental consent, they should be able to speak up together in a labor union without parental consent,” Patrick said. “Apparently, the Senate believes minors are mature enough to work in unsafe conditions for low wages without parental permission, but when it comes to improving their working conditions, labor unions are R-rated.”

  “Why minors need this ‘protection’ from unions was left unsaid,” Patrick declared. “What minors need in the workplace are rights, not prohibitions. Unions are and have been the driving force behind laws that prevent exploitation of child labor. In the guise of protecting teens, the Texas Senate is seeking to rewrite history. Supporters of this bill have no sense of irony or shame.”

  Like other bills the Senate has approved in this legislative session, SB 75 exposes the Senate majority’s disdain for the ability of working people to speak up together for a better workplace, Patrick said.

  “We hope that when this bill reaches the Texas House, it will receive rational consideration and no consent,” Patrick said.


The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.