Working Texas

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Congratulations to Zeph Capo, who was recently elected President of the Texas American Federation of Teachers at the union's convention. Capo began work at the union yesterday.

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 Lead Organizer Kara Sheehan reports the second Ruth Ellinger Labor Leaders School concluded successfully over the weekend with an absorbing final session and graduation.

Sheehan and Texas AFL-CIO Director of Campaigns Jeff Rotkoff have led the way in building something beautiful, opening new avenues toward leadership for activists in our movement. The connections built in this program are going to make a difference for years to come.

On behalf of the officers and staff of the Texas AFL-CIO, I have the honor of speaking in favor of Item 78, the proposal to rename a road in honor of Azie Taylor Morton, the 36th Treasurer of the United States.

For the 27th year in a row, the AFL-CIO has produced Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect. The report gathers evidence on the state of safety and health protections for America's workers.

Earlier this month, American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr., a former Veterans Administration nurse, called -- yet again -- for the federal government to fund the VA at a level that allows nurses and others in VA hospitals to do their jobs as they were trained to do. 

You may remember the strike at Maximus Coffee Group in Houston in 2013. Late last week, we learned the remaining 279 union employees at what was once a landmark Maxwell House plant are soon going to be out of work.

Sadly, the coffee processing business in the U.S. has gone the way of many other lines of manufacturing. 

 The Texas AFL-CIO stood in solidarity with workers at the plant in the Second Ward when they walked off their jobs to protest company proposals to cut pay by nearly half, eliminate a 401(k) match and increase the cost of health care by 30 percent.

Congratulations to TWU, IBEW, IAM, NNU, AFSCME, TNG-CWA and UAW, which use up half the alphabet with several repeats in their acronyms, on an outstanding roll of organizing.
The labor movement has repeatedly done battle on the minimum wage and other fundamental labor rights with the big, powerful NRA.
Unions are not "third-party representation." They are the working people at a company who speak up together with one voice.