So-Called “Right to Work” laws harm Texans

As is the tale with many southern states, Texas has fallen to the special interests that fought to take collective bargaining power away from the people.

How has So-Called “Right to Work” affected and harmed organized labor in Texas?

The state formally passed a So-Called “Right to Work” law in 1993. Since then, Texas has seen a building boom like no other. Corporations have flocked to the state and need highly skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to construct their facilities. Often, this construction is not done by the best-trained and best-skilled workers; it is done by unskilled workers who frequently make mistakes and are exposed to safety hazards.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529, fellow United Association Local Unions and signatory member contractors are against these laws as they create an unsafe workplace and encourage the use of unskilled, low-wage labor.

According to Tex. Labor Code Ann. §§ 101.001, an employer cannot deny an individual employment based on union membership. The law essentially allows workers to gain union representation and all the benefits enjoyed from union membership without paying their fair share for the representation.

These laws restrict unions and aim to make them economically insolvent by allowing people to use their services for free.

So-Called “Right to Work” laws diminish the safety of Local 529 and all United Association members in Texas

It is no surprise that Texas is one of the most deadly states for construction workers due to the massive amounts of unskilled, untrained workers being used for cheap labor.

The establishment of a So-Called “Right-to-Work” law has made the state even more dangerous.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas saw 105 construction workers suffer fatal workplace injuries in 2018 alone. This data proves that Texas is one of the most dangerous states for construction workers. However, this number can decrease if tradesmen and tradeswomen undergo the proper safety training.

UA Local 529 and its affiliated member contractors fully fund the Waco Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee registered apprenticeship program, where those entering the pipe trades learn how to work safety and take certification courses to ensure they are aware of the dangers of construction and how to mitigate them.

All Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 members must carry at least an Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour training card on jobsites to prove they have completed the course. Certain projects may require additional safety training, which the Union fully funds.