Working Texas

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Plumbers in Texas scored a significant win today when a bill written to dissolve the board regulating licensing of workers in the trade was amended to postpone the effective date for two years.

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay published the following open letter in support of locked-out United Steelworkers families in Deer Park.

Today is Day 101 of the regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature. 39 days to go.

Do Something! To contact your Texas House member on bills that involve a fair shot for working families, go to https://bit.ly/2IvZt7I to send a letter or text FIGHTBACK to 235246.

The Texas House on Wednesday advanced HB 48 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-El Paso, which would create a state database of employers who are found to have committed wage theft.

The bill has been percolating for several sessions and now has momentum on its way to the Senate. A database would impose no monetary penalty, but the sunlight would serve as a deterrent to low-road employers who deliberately refuse to pay working people what they have earned. 

Today's bipartisan vote in support of the measure was 102-41.

Today is Day 88 of the regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature. 52 days to go.

Do Something! Write your legislators on urgent labor issues: https://bit.ly/2FWDVO1

Today is Day 80 of the regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature. 60 days to go.

Do Something! SB 621, a ULLCO-OPPOSED bill that would abolish the State Board of Plumbing Examiners and potentially compromise the licensing process for plumbers, is eligible for debate on the Senate floor as soon as Monday. Contact your Senator and ask him or her to OPPOSE SB 621: https://bit.ly/2uwPE06

Today, lawmakers in the State Capitol are spending all day adding and eliminating things from the state budget.

Today is Day 74 of the regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature. 66 days to go.

The United Labor Legislative Committee today OPPOSED three bills addressing regulation of ship pilots and the movement of container ships that could have a major impact on working people in the Port of Houston. The Seafarers Union and International Longshoremen’s Association strongly oppose the pilot bills but have said they can support a fair compromise on ship traffic that would benefit all stakeholders.

The Texas Senate today advanced SBs 2486 and 2488, two more bills that would prevent cities from improving workplace benefits.

Both bills are by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, who authored two related bills that passed the Senate last Thursday. SB 2486 bars local governments from approving rules on scheduling practices. The problem: Some companies do not notify workers of their schedules enough in advance to allow them to plan their lives. An amendment to the bill by Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, also bars local rules with regard to overtime.