Weekly Labor Wrap-Up/ Dec. 14 2017

  • Labor Endorsees Win Two More Seats on Houston School Board in Runoff

  • Here's a Wide-Ranging 'Buy Union' List for the Holidays

  • AFL-CIO Joins CWA in Requesting Corporations to Guarantee They Will Spend Some Tax Cuts on Higher Wages

  • MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference Is Closer Than You Think

  • Miracle in Alabama Continues Change Signals in Nation

  • Paid Sick Day Campaign Hits the Streets with Big Block Walk

Labor Endorsees Win Two More Seats on Houston School Board in Runoff

Congratulations to the Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation and the Houston American Federation of Teachers, which saw two more endorsed local school board candidates win election in a Saturday runoff.


Elizabeth Santos and Sergio Lira, each of whom had the COPE endorsement and an accompanying grass-roots effort to turn out votes, won seats on the board of the Houston School District. They follow three other labor-backed victories on the board that took place Election Day.

The political winds continue to blow in a good direction.


Here's a Wide-Ranging 'Buy Union' List for the Holidays

Our Brothers and Sisters in the United Auto Workers have provided a wide-ranging, updated resource on union-made American products in this gift-giving season.

 It's indeed wide-ranging. The exceptionally useful list includes gifts, food items (including dog and cat treats), casinos, a UFCW hotel search engine and, of course, the current "Do Buy" list of UAW-made vehicles.

It's indeed updated. Nabisco products like Oreos were on the list in 2016, but because of the Mondelez boycott, are not on the list in 2017, though American-made Mondelez products are still considered "Do Buy" by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Makers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM).

This is an exceptionally concise take on good products that support union jobs.

Read More.

AFL-CIO Joins CWA in Requesting Corporations to Guarantee They Will Spend Some Tax Cuts on Higher Wages

Speaking of the tax bill, the AFL-CIO has joined the Communications Workers of America campaign to seek a promise from corporations that are about to reap a big chunk of a huge tax cut that they funnel some of that money into higher worker pay.

This may not be one of those cases where the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but it's a matter of principle:

The Trump administration repeatedly has claimed that its tax bill would result in a $4,000 wage increase for workers. Today the AFL-CIO has joined a campaign by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to demand corporations guarantee this raise in writing. The labor federation is rallying the power of its 12.5 million members and the entire labor movement to support this campaign in every industry.
"CWA has inspired an innovative movement to demand working people get our fair share and expose the scam that is the Republican tax bill," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. "Working people have heard the same old lies about the benefits of economic policies written by and for greedy corporations for too long. This campaign is about holding corporations and politicians accountable to their claims and getting a much-needed raise for America's workers."
On Nov. 20, CWA sent a letter to its major employers, including AT&T, Verizon, General Electric, American Airlines and NBC Universal, calling on them to commit to that raise in writing. In joining the CWA's efforts, the AFL-CIO is encouraging all unions from all sectors to join in by reaching out to their employers and encouraging all working people to sign a petition that puts employers on notice that they will be held accountable if the Republican tax bill becomes law.
"Working people know better than to believe the boss' promises unless they are in writing," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "That's why my union has asked some of our biggest employers to sign an agreement that says if the tax plan passes, working people will get their $4,000."

Sign the "Where's Our Raise" Petition NOW

MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference Is Closer Than You Think

Reminder: the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference will be held in Houston early in 2018.

The national conference takes place Jan. 12 through Jan. 15 at the unionized Hilton Americas Hotel, 1600 Lamar St. in downtown Houston. That starting date is now one month away.


Hosted by the AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women's Rights Department, the prestigious event moves from city to city and was last held in Texas when San Antonio served as the venue in 2014.  

We can guarantee from that experience that the conference will offer ideas on cutting-edge topics and practical, hands-on workshops that will sharpen the tool-kits of union members, retirees and allies of all stripes. Along with the usual ingredients one expects at a conference, one day will be devoted to community service projects in Houston. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, attendees are invited to march in the city's parade to cap the conference. Trust us on something else: The labor networking opportunities will be extraordinary.

Register Today

Miracle in Alabama Continues Change Signals in Nation

The political earthquake in Alabama Tuesday night may reverberate in Texas. 

Yes, Republicans fielded an incredibly weak, flawed and obnoxious candidate in Roy Moore. But no, the special election was not a fluke. It continues a pattern in which the party out of power has already made major gains in several jurisdictions, both likely and unlikely.

President Trump got 62 percent of the vote in the 2016 election in Alabama, but maybe the touchstone for comparison should be the senior senator from the state, Richard Shelby, who broke the 64 percent mark. Neither Hillary Clinton nor the Democrat who ran against Shelby made it to 36 percent.

Tuesday night, Sen.-elect Doug Jones made the 2016 gap meaningless. By all accounts, Jones ran a good campaign and he ran it with the endorsement of organized labor.

The labor vote in Alabama is an interesting phenomenon. Alabama has a higher union density than any other state in the deep South, at 8.1 percent. (That amount is twice the union density in Texas, according to the most recent estimate of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) We congratulate our Brothers and Sisters in the Yellowhammer State (a $2,000 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions piece of trivia if I ever saw one) on taking part in this history-making victory.

If Texas politicians aren't hearing the knock at the door, it's because the earplugs are jammed in too tightly.

Read More

Paid Sick Day Campaign Hits the Streets with Massive Block Walk

Over 70 members of the "Work Strong Austin" coalition block walked in Austin, demanding earned paid sick days. It was a massive block walk effort that included various social justice organizations, Democratic Socialists of America , and members of the Texas AFL-CIO constituency group - YALL - Young Active Labor Leaders.  Here is Amanda from Austin YALL, proudly sporting her sign prior to hitting the neighborhood.  Solidarity!