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Texas AFL-CIO Expands Role in Union Organizing, Immigration Advocacy: ‘Bigger, Broader Labor Movement’

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Aug. 10, 2023

News Release

Contacts: Rick Levy,

Leonard Aguilar or Ed Sills,

(512) 477-6195;

Sills cell: (512) 695-1148


Texas AFL-CIO Expands Role in Union Organizing, Immigration Advocacy: ‘Bigger, Broader Labor Movement’


  Delegates to the 64th Texas AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention today endorsed upgraded roles for the state labor federation in union organizing advocacy for immigrant workers, and climate jobs.


  “Make no mistake: Union organizing and advocacy for immigrant workers are among the hardest 

and most uncomfortable missions we can undertake,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. “But if we rock the boat and successfully enter new arenas, we will walk the path to the bigger, broader labor movement our state needs. And if we grow and build new alliances, we will change Texas. The resolutions delegates approved today promise a bigger, broader labor movement.”


  Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Leonard Aguilar said, “This convention proved that our delegates are up to the challenge of getting out of our comfort zones to build the labor movement in Texas. More and more, workers get that bettering our livelihoods requires new approaches.”


  Traditionally, the Texas AFL-CIO has assisted international unions in organizing drives at their request. Under a resolution approved unanimously, the state labor federation will form its own Organizing Committee that proactively researches organizing opportunities and works more closely with unions on organizing drives. 


  A related resolution on mobilizing aims at building the next generation of leaders who will engage in organizing. Hands-on programs that saw interruptions during the pandemic will return to full speed: the Ruth Ellinger Labor Leaders School, a year-long training program; field trainings on specific topics; deeper participation in the state-of-the-art AFL-CIO Organizing Institute; and programs developed alongside the Texas AFL-CIO Racial Justice Task Force.


  Delegates also approved a resolution creating the Texas Immigrant Workers Project, an expansion of a Texas AFL-CIO program that has helped hundreds of eligible immigrants navigate the complicated application process for naturalization. The program is adding pieces that assist immigrant workers who are seeking work authorization, offer citizenship and workers’ rights classes, and help immigrant workers looking to speak up together through unions.


  Another resolution approved by delegates elevate the work of the rapidly expanding Texas Climate Jobs Project, which advocates for good union jobs in the transition to clean energy.