Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Some History Of Organzied Labor In Texas—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here 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 citizen-bloggers who are working hard for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and even run for public office.

With Labor Day just over a week away, this is also a good time to consider organized labor in Texas.

Texas is not a strong union state. Many working people in Texas seem more concerned with keeping others down instead of helping themselves and other working people. However, there are unions in Texas, and there are many working people in Texas–both in and out of unions– with self-respect and with respect for fellow Texas working people.

Let’s stay politically active, be aware of the gains unions and organized labor have brought us, and let’s always treat other working people well.

Here is a history of organized labor in Texas from the excellent Handbook of Texas online.

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.”

Here is the Texas AFL-CIO.

Here is a lengthy list of unions in Texas that includes a number of links to these unions.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff has one piece of advice for President Obama regarding Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions.

The already-existing field of Republican presidential candidates — along with former Bush administration officials and even the current occupants of the White House — reacted to Rick Perry’s entry into the race, and Letters from Texas reacted to their reaction. The conclusion: they’re all screwing this up.

Bay Area Houston says that fact-checking Rick Perry is not for the ignorant.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is amazed that the always-crazy CongressmanPeter King wants Rick Perry to tone it down. No doubt that today’s republican is looking to nominate the mayor of crazy town.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the horror that often is the Williamson County justice and DA John Bradley. A man has spent 24 years in jail for a crime he did not commit — truly a tragic story.

From Iowa corn dog porn, to “gaps” in the theory of evolution, to passive-aggressive assaults on Ben Bernanke and from Karl Rove, Rick Perry had a no good, very bad first week on the national stage. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs documents the governor’s gaffes, faux pas and self-administered gunshots to both cowboy-booted feet.

This week on Left of College Station Teddy continues the “Rick Perry’s Texas” series by looking at innocent executionscollege deniedchild poverty, and even a chart showing that, despite the governor’s belief in the ‘free market’, Keynes has come to Texas.

Neil at Texas Liberal said this week that while circumstance matters, it is best not to let others construct your reality.

August 28, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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