Unions | Texas Public Radio


From Texas Standard:

There's some surprising news about the state of labor in Texas: the Lone Star State has been a right-to-work state since 1947, but it appears that unions in Texas are having a moment. Membership numbers are up, and it could be a turning point for organized labor, even in pro-business Texas.

Texas Senate Takes Aim at Public Labor Groups

May 8, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would make it tougher for public sector labor groups to collect dues.  

As a so-called right-to-work state, Texas already bars public and private workplaces from compelling employees to join a union. Sen. Joan Huffman’s Senate Bill 1968 would prohibit state agencies and local governments from deducting union dues from the paychecks of most members of labor groups. 

The chamber approved the legislation with a 20-11 vote along party lines.  

The proposal would require union members to pay dues to their representatives directly, rather than relying on government agencies to deduct the fees from paychecks and turn them over to the union. The ban would exempt certain firefighters, police officers and emergency medial service workers. 

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Last January, the City of San Antonio began negotiations with public safety unions to renew their contract.

The city's goal was to reduce the expenditure on health care and pension benefits that are significantly higher than other public employee packages.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Two San Antonio City Council members are through hearing arguments being presented by the city's public safety unions as they negotiate health and benefit contracts with the city. While council members hope negotiations resume, Dist. 4 Councilman Rey Saldana and Dist. 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg have made it clear that they will not be intimidated.


Labor advocate and National Farm Workers Association co-founder, Dolores Huerta, has spent her adult life fighting for causes. 

Huerta is in San Antonio for the Briscoe Western Art Museum's Voices of The West Distingusihed Lecture Series. It starts at 6:30 p.m tonight at the museum's Jack Guenther Pavilion.