Happy Labor Day—Some History Of Organized Labor In Texas
Tomorrow is Labor Day. While Texas is not a strong union state, and while many working people in Texas seem more concerned with keeping others down instead of helping themselves and other working people, there are unions in Texas and there are working people with self-respect and with respect for others in Texas.
Let’s stay politically active, be aware of the gains unions and organized labor have brought us, and always treat other working people well.
From that history—
Rapid industrialization of Texas in the years during and immediately after World War II increased the number of nonagricultural workers and thereby the potential union membership. Organizational drives by several national unions proved quite successful in the immediate postwar period. By 1946 about 350,000 Texans were union members, of whom about 225,000 were in unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and 60,000 were in the Congress of Industrial Organizations affiliated unions; the remainder were in such unaffiliated unions as the railroad brotherhoods and the Southwestern Telephone Workers (the two largest independent groups)….The massive demographic and socioeconomic changes that began in Texas in the 1960s have had a dramatic negative impact on the role of organized labor. The state’s population increased by almost 90 percent between 1960 and 1995. Since a good portion of this growth was a result of adult immigration, the labor force grew at a slightly higher rate than the general increase. The movement of women, many of whom were not prime breadwinners, into the labor force, together with the fact that half the population growth in the 1980s was Hispanic, brought a need for different organizational strategies that, even by union admission, have been slow to develop….Even as the unions were forced onto the defensive by changing conditions, they also strengthened their efforts in such areas as combating environmental hazards and achieving safe working conditions… The 1989 explosion and fire at Phillips Petroleum in Pasadena, which killed twenty-three workers and injured 314, brought investigations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers’ Union and led to massive fines for safety violations levied against Phillips and against Fish Engineering and Construction, a contractor.”
Along with this Labor Day post is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are friends of labor.
Meet Jeff “The Trucker” Evans, an unemployed 49-year-old whose unemployment benefits were restored by congressional Democrats after a Republican filibuster caused the payments to temporarily cease. Eye On Williamson returns to the Wrangle and explains howmisdirected Tea Party anger causes Jeff the Trucker to vote against his economic best interest.
John Cornyn, known as a rapist enabler, decides to waffle on 14th amendment to the Constitution. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is certain that Cornyn doesn’t care about civil rights — just his fat a**.
Over at TexasKaos, lightseeker summaries the latest scandals at the Texas Youth Commission. The more things change over there, the more they remain the same, sadly…. Check it out : TYC Abuses Make the News Again.
Neil at Texas Liberal attended press conferences held by both Houston Votes and by a local so-called Tea Party group, as a possible pattern of harassment and intimidation against likely Democratic voters in Harris County may be at work. Also, Neil announced that he will now also be blogging at The Daily Hurricane as well as at Texas Liberal. Neil is also a featured politics reader-blogger at the Houston Chronicle.
WhosPlayin reports that the local school district sent a letter to the Texas Attorney General’s office requesting exemption from release on the grounds that some personal expenses on district credit cards were too embarrassing to release.
The warehouse where Harris County’s election machines are storederupted in flames last Friday morning, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had the early line on what it means for Houston and the surrounding area, which represent 15% of the statewide vote tally. Coupled with the histrionics of Leo Vasquez vis-a-vis Houston Votes, it’s going to be a real lively election season (and that’s before a single race gets mentioned).
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