May 30, 2013

Brothers and Sisters by now most of you have heard that SB 241 did not make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Senator John Carona wrote this:

Smart Meters: 
I have worked throughout this legislative session to pass a bill that would prevent smart meters from being installed on the property of those who do not want them, but the unfortunate truth is that the votes to pass the bill simply have not been there. Although we believed we had the support needed, our one-on-one communications with members have not produced the minimum 21 votes needed to bring this legislation to the floor. 

I want to thank all who have worked this session to pass this important legislation. I have been amazed by the depth and effectiveness of the grassroots effort, and I greatly appreciate all of your hard work. Though we raised public awareness, much work remains to be done.

I want to personally thank all of you that contacted your Senator during the session for their support for SB 241. We MUST continue to be active in local, state, and national politics to be successful as a Union. Many of you have received e-mails from our office like the one below asking you to contact politicians. If you have not received an e-mail similar to the one below and you would like to be an active member, contact our office by phone or email and request to get on the email list. The following issue was sent to us from the AFL/CIO and needs action by the membership.

Anti-worker politicians in Washington and their corporate donors are striking at the rights of workers. Again.

They’re threatening to shut down the National Labor Relations Board, the independent agency that protects workers’ rights, by holding up President Barack Obama’s nominations to the Board.

If the NLRB nominees aren’t confirmed, thousands of workers—who are waiting for the Board’s decisions in key workplace cases—won’t get their cases decided.

Tell Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz to confirm President Obama’s NLRB nominations to make sure workers’ rights are protected.

Extremist lawmakers have held multiple hearings attacking the NLRB for doing its job. In 2011 alone, they introduced 25 bills and amendments to defund the board, weaken workers’ rights to free and fair union elections, and undermine the board’s enforcement authority.1

This attempt to score cheap political points with deep-pocketed special interests has real consequences for all of us. Working families have suffered enough, and this will kill one of the few protections they have left.

The NLRB has been critical in standing up for the rights of all working families. CEOs have too much power as it is. Let’s not let them grab any more.

Your senators need to hear from you. Tell them to confirm President Obama’s NLRB nominations and stop the corporate power grab:

WE must realize that even though many people do not want to get involved in politics it is imperative that WE, as Union members, stay involved in politics. Believe me, when I tell you Oncor spends millions of dollars in Austin and Washington to promote their agendas. The Company’s agenda may not be beneficial to the workers. Oncor asks their employees to donate to their COPE fund. If you would like to donate to a COPE fund contact our union office and we will arrange your donations to go to IBEW COPE.  These funds will be used to promote issues for working men and women. There are employees that have as little as fifty cents (50¢) per pay check deducted from their pay for the IBEW COPE. We cannot match the Company in campaign spending; this is why it is so important to contact your representatives when called upon.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Texas Supreme Court overturned two lower court rulings and declared state employees have no right to union representation at disciplinary meetings, commonly known as “Weingarten” rights. The Texas AFL-CIO Union issued a sharply worded statement saying the court “respects neither clearly stated workplace rights nor common concepts of justice and fairness.” The 1975 Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Weingarten found that private-sector employees have the right to a union representative if an employee believes a meeting with managers could lead to discipline. Congress granted the same right to federal employees soon after. The Texas high court said the state’s labor code contains no similar language. And in the thirty-eight years since Weingarten was decided, the Texas Legislature has declined to enact similar legislation. We have our work cut out for us. No one said it would be easy but, anything worth having is worth fighting for. Never give up!

The Unit Meeting in Dallas for June has been changed from the fourth Tuesday of the month to the third Tuesday of the month. The meeting will be held on June 18, 2013, at 5:00 pm.

Please remember to keep our neighbors in Oklahoma in your prayers.

Until next time may God bless you, your family, and our local union.

Posted on May 30, 2013 .