OFFICIAL CONFERENCE CALL
This site is for members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in the state of Texas. This is an informational site for our members to let them know what is happening in the political and legislative arena in Texas. We also inform on what is happening with our brothers and sisters around the state.
The Texas State Council of Machinists morn the death of former Southern Territory Vice President Roe Spencer. He was a great leader for the Machinists, the Southern Territory, and Texas. His legacy lives on.
Texas State Council of Machinists
The Texas State Council of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has proudly endorsed the current IAM Executive Council.
R. Thomas Buffenbarger – International President
Robert Roach, Jr. - General Secretary-Treasurer
General Vice Presidents
New Voter Photo ID Requirements are in effect.
You will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification at the polling location before you can cast a vote.
Your photo Identification card does not have to have your current address. The new photo ID requirement makes no determination on voter address matching criteria; therefore, there is no address matching requirement.
If you are not exempt (addressed below) and you do not have any of the above valid photo IDs, you may cast a provisional ballot at the polls. In order for the provisional ballot to count, you must visit the voter registrar's office within six calendar days of the election to either present one of the above forms of ID or submit one of the temporary affidavits (addressed below) in the presence of the county voter registrar while attesting to the fact that you do not have any of the required photo IDs.
Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption. The application must contain written documentation from either the U.S. Social Security Administration evidencing you have been determined to have a disability, or from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs evidencing a disability rating of at least 50 percent. In addition, you must state that you have no valid form of photo identification. Those who obtain a disability exemption will be allowed to vote by presenting a voter registration certificate reflecting the exemption. Please contact your voter registrar for more details.
Voters who have a consistent religious objection to being photographed and voters who do not have any valid form of photo identification as a result of certain natural disasters as declared by the President of the United States or the Texas Governor, may vote a provisional ballot, appear at the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days after election day, and sign an affidavit swearing to the religious objection or natural disaster, in order for your ballot to be counted. Please contact your county voter registrar for more details.
If you vote by mail you do not need a photo Identification. The new requirement does not change the process for voting by mail. However, only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:
The Secretary of State’s office
For information on issues and propositions to vote on please see our legislative action page.
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Join the Fight today for Fair Trade
A Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is currently being negotiated by U.S. trade representatives. It is the biggest trade deal
ever proposed and includes such low wage countries with no labor rights as Viet Nam and Brunei. Unfortunately, it appears that it is as bad or worse for working families as NAFTA, CAFTA , or letting China into the World Trade Organization. These previous trade deals have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas and millions nationwide. The new Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade agreements, in effect for less than a year, have already cost an estimated 10, 000 U.S. jobs. The Citizens Trade Campaign, the Texas Fair Trade Coalition’s national affiliate, has initiated a letter to Congress asking our Representatives to make sure the TPP does not follow the same NAFTA-template and to use their power to stop the “fast-tracking” of this agreement.****
State signers so far include the Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Building Trades Council, State Association of Electrical Workers, Texas State Council of Machinists, Texas AFT, CWA 6215, Harris County Central Labor Council, and Austin Central Labor Council. At the national level the almost three hundred signers include the Steelworkers, AFGE, IBEW, Boilermakers, Painters, CWA, Teamsters, Mine Workers, Machinists, Carpenters,Bricklayers and other labor, environmental, human rights and religious
2015 TEXAS AFL-CIO SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
WHO MAY APPLY: Members or children of members of local unions or children whose legal guardians are members of local unions that are affiliated with the Texas AFL-CIO and the local Central Labor Council. Applicants must be high school seniors who are planning to attend a university, college or technical institute in the summer or fall term.
Application forms are available from your Central Labor Council or the Texas AFL-CIO Education Department - P. O. Box 12727, Austin, Texas 78711. THE POSTMARK DEADLINE FOR APPLYING IS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2015.
Labor unions in Texas and nationwide kept the status quo last year.
The union membership rate — the percentage of all workers who were
members of a union — stayed the same in Texas from 2013 to 2014, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate was 4.8 percent.
Nationally, the union membership rate declined slightly to 11.1 percent, down from 11. 3 percent in 2013.
Although both Texas, which is a right-to-work state, and the nation saw lightly more union members in 2014 than a year earlier, they also increased the number of total workers amid an improving economy.
Texas had 543,000 workers who were union members in 2014, compared with 518,000 in 2013, according to the BLS data. The state’s number of total workers also rose — from nearly 10.9 million in 2013 to 11.2 million last year.
Nationally, the number of workers who belonged to a union was 14.6 million last year, compared with 14.5 million in 2013. The number of total U.S. workers increased from 129.1 million in 2013 to 131.4 million in 2014.
Union membership across the country has fallen precipitously over the last 30 years. The U.S. union membership rate was 20.1 percent (17.7 million members) in 1983, the first year for which comparable union data is available.
In recent years, unions have faced more organizing hurdles from private employers and states trying to decrease union power. Michigan passed a right-to-work law, prohibiting forcing workers to join unions or pay union dues as a condition of employment, in 2012 but it didn’t take effect until March 2013.
In 2014, the first full year of Michigan’s right-to-work law, the state’s union membership rate fell from 16.3 percent (633,000 members) in 2013 to 14.5 percent (585,000 people) last year, according to the BLS data.
Last year, union membership rates declined in 27 states plus Washington, D.C., rose in 18 states and were unchanged in five states. North Carolina has the lowest ion membership rate (1.9 percent, or 76,000 people). New York has the highest rate (24.6 percent, or 2 million members).
Over half of the 14.6 million U.S. union members live in seven states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio.
Key highlights of the U.S. union membership in 2014:
* Men had a higher union membership rate (11.7 percent) than women (10.5 percent).
* Black workers (13.2 percent) were more likely to be union members than whites (10.8 percent), Asians (10.4 percent) and Hispanics (9.2 percent).
* Union workers on average tended to earn more ($970 in weekly median earnings) than their non-union peers ($763 a week).
* Workers in education, training, library and protective service jobs had the highest union rate: 35 percent for each group. Agriculture and forestry jobs (2.5 percent) and sales jobs (3.1 percent) had the lowest rates.
* Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (36 percent), more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (7 percent). Local government, which includes heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters, had the highest public sector rate at 42 percent.
It is with great sadness that we must tell you of the passing of
We Miss you
U.S. SPACE EXPLORATION PROGRAM SUPPORT
WHEREAS, Democratic Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson gave vision to the U.S. Space Program which for over fifty years has united the American people in pride of leadership in space and space-related technology, and is an investment in America’s future and a national treasure; and,
WHEREAS: NASA contributed to America’s goals in economic growth and security, preserving the environment, educational excellence, and peaceful exploration and discovery such as the Mars-Sojourner and the Hubble telescope’s exploration of
distant galaxies; and
WHEREAS, NASA’s highly skilled diverse workforce and world-class facilities represent the backbone of our nation’s civil research and development capabilities in aeronautics and space; and
WHEREAS, the presence of American astronauts and Russian Cosmonauts’ aboard the International Space Station has provided the opportunity to learn invaluable methods and technology for future explorations as well as for the opportunity
for peaceful cooperation between major countries; and
WHEREAS, NASA has embarked on a bold new vision, it should accelerate with a sense of urgency the development of the Orion Spacecraft to ferry American Astronauts to the Space Station during 2014 and to make optimal use of the inventory of American developed Atlas and Delta launch vehicles to launch the
Orion Spacecraft. And more specifically, to:
Continue to grow exploration capability organically using new
Rebuild the Cape infrastructure to support high-rate liquid rocket operations
Provide the Johnson Space Center with a minimum of $50 million to retrain the at risk work force.
Every NASA Facility will upgrade the Labor Relations Person to Senior Executive Service (SES) and provide this new position with a minimum of six person staff.
Enhance NASA’s capability and organic expertise to provide credible scientific, technological, and engineering leadership to help us better understand our Earth environment.
Inspire the rising generation of young men and women to become men and women committed to increasing knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by making NASA and its programs relevant to the American public.
And enhance our international prestige.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Texas Democratic Party reiterates its support of the U.S. Space Program, including a staffed space station and space exploration, and urges the National Aeronautics
Texas Capital History
Located near the center of Austin, on the square originally selected as the site of the Capitol of the Republic of Texas, the State Capitol is more than just another building to Texans throughout the state: it represents a great part of our heritage. The Capitol is the result of the hard work of many individuals who had the wisdom and determination to see Texas stand proudly as a state in the Union.
The contract to construct the present Capitol was signed on January 1, 1882. A groundbreaking ceremony one month later, on February 1, 1882, signaled the start of construction. The cornerstone, which is located at the northeast corner of the Capitol, was laid on March 2, 1885. The Capitol was nearing completion when a dedication ceremony was held on May 16, 1888, and in September of that year, the building received its first occupants. The Capitol was officially completed on December 8, 1888, six years and ten months after construction began.
Designed by Detroit architect, E. E. Myers who also designed the Michigan and Colorado Capitols, the Texas Capitol covers three acres of ground with approximately 18 acres of floor space or 192,374 square feet of available office space. When completed in 1888, the building contained 392 rooms, 18 vaults, 924 windows, and 404 doors. Approximately 566 feet in length, 288 feet in width, and 308 feet from grade line to the top of the star on the Goddess of Liberty atop the dome, it is the largest of all state capitol buildings and is second in total size only to the National Capitol in Washington, D.C. In fact, like several other state Capitol buildings, the Texas Capitol surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising seven feet above its Washington counterpart.
The Capitol's exterior walls are Texas red granite from Burnet County, while the interior and dome walls are Texas limestone. The roof, encompassing 85,000 square feet, is made of copper. The original floors were hand-blocked clay tile, glass, and wood. In 1936, a new floor was installed on the first floor to commemorate the centennial of Texas Independence. This floor, which remains today, is of terrazzo--mostly Texas marble aggregate. Interior walls are adorned with nearly seven miles of wainscoting made of oak, pine, cherry, cedar, walnut, and mahogany. Door and window frames are constructed of oak or pine, except for those in the Governor's Reception Room, which are made of cherry.
The Capitol Extension, an underground addition to the main Capitol, is connected to the Capitol and four other state buildings by tunnels; it is considered to be a permanent part of the Capitol. The Extension opened to the public on January 11, 1993. The Capitol Extension contains skylights, known as light courts, which allow a large amount of natural light in the the building and provide spectacular views of the Capitol dome. Most of the office suites have windows which open onto the light court, further heightening the spaciousness of the offices. The Extension contains 16 committee hearing rooms, 8 conference rooms, a large auditorium, cafeteria, and a bookstore. Each hearing room holds 75 to 100 people, and includes space for wheelchairs and the media. Most of the conference rooms are designed for small meetings, but the auditorium seats about 350 people and can be used for large functions.
Information provided courtesy of the State Preservation Board