So-Called 'Right To Work' Harms Texas
As is the tale with many southern states, Texas has fallen to the special interests who 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 consequently, need highly skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to construct their facilities. Many times, this construction is not being done by well-trained, skilled workers, but is being done by unskilled workers who frequently make mistakes and create safety hazards for themselves, and others on the job.
The SWPTA and our affiliated Local Unions and member contractors are entirely 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 of the benefits enjoyed from union membership, without having to pay their fair share for the representation.
These laws are meant to restrict unions and economically doom them by allowing people to gain their services for free.
So-Called ‘Right to Work’ laws diminish the safety of Southwest Pipe Trades Association and all United Association members in Texas
It comes as no surprise that Texas is one of the most deadly states for construction workers. This is due to the massive amount of unskilled, untrained workers being used only for their 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, the state of Texas saw 608 workers suffer fatal workplace injuries in 2019 alone. This data proves that Texas is one of the most dangerous states for workers. However, this number can be decreased if tradesmen and tradeswomen take on the proper training.
All SWPTA affiliated Local Unions and member contractors fully fund the United Association (UA) registered apprenticeship program, where men and women entering the pipe trades learn about the latest industry safety protocols, and are required to take certification courses ensuring they are aware of the dangers of construction and how to mitigate them.
All members of SWPTA affiliated unions are required to carry at least an Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour (OSHA-10) training card on job sites to prove they have completed the course. Some other projects may require further safety training, which is fully funded by the UA.