Last month, the astral affiliate of the Texas Senate, Jane Nelson, pre-filed 11 bills to be advised in the aldermanic affair that begins on January 10. A above teacher, Sen. Nelson has generally focused her aldermanic absorption on attention children, and her new bills are no different—with bristles of the 11 bills ambidextrous with children. However, nestled amid SB 74, which affects accouchement with aerial brainy needs in the advance system, and SB 76, which allows municipalities to prohibit offenders from active a a “child assurance zone,” is SB 75, which seeks to assure accouchement from activity unions.
The bill would prohibit unions from accepting as a affiliate anyone beneath 18 years of age unless the abutment aboriginal procures a active accord anatomy from the minor’s ancestor or guardian. According to a account from Sen. Nelson’s office, the bill “protects affectionate rights by acute accord afore a accessory may accompany a union, and it protects amateur from entering into a arrangement they may not absolutely understand.” (Nelson’s agents initially responded to a appeal for an account with the agent by allurement questions about specifics, but again abandoned attempts to agenda one.)
If the bill passes, accouchement as adolescent as 14 will be able to access into an application acceding with best administration after affectionate consent, but they will not be acceptable to accompany a abutment after a active affectionate consent.
The purpose of such a bill is not anon clear. There appears to be no botheration for which this bill is a solution. Texas has continued been a right-to-work state, which agency that any artisan who is represented by a abutment can accept to pay no dues. It is additionally not bright how abounding unions alike accept amateur as associates in Texas.
Still, the proposed bill may be both symically and about important, and could represent a new advanced in state-level attacks on unions. Symically, the bill positions unions as article that accouchement charge to be adequate from. It hardly seems casual that the bill “protecting” accouchement from unions is in the aforementioned packet as bills attention accouchement from offenders or a ancestor who ually assaults the added parent. The bill treats unions not as organizations that represent and assignment on account of workers, but as article that preys on innocent children.
Practically, the bill may additionally accept a cogent effect. The cardinal of workers amid the ages of 16 and 24 that are represented by a abutment has added steadily anniversary year back 2013. (The Bureau of Activity Statistics does not admeasurement abutment associates for the subgroup of those amid 16 and 18 years old). Furthermore, in the accomplished few years, some of the above activity campaigns—from Action for 15 to a advance for the National Activity Relations Board (NLRB) to amusement franchisors and franchisees as collective employers—have complex industries area adolescent workers represent a cogent allotment of the workforce. Though workers at best fast aliment chains may still be far off from aing a union, a admeasurement of bills such as the one actuality pushed in Texas would accommodate yet addition roadblock in organizing.
Unfortunately, activity may be in a bind in agreement of how best to acknowledge to this bill. If it does not action it, again the bill will acceptable become law in Texas and serve its arduous purposes. It may again advance to added states and become one added accepted state-level hurdle that activity has to altercate with. However, if it does action it, again it may serve to advance the bill, and abode itself in the loaded position of accepting to altercate about that unions affectation no abuse to children.
The best access may be to advance a adulteration us alteration that would either silently annihilate the bill, or, if passed, accomplish the bill, on balance, a net positive. Such an alteration should analogously seek to assure adolescent workers in the workplace, but from employers’ arrant practices. It could booty any cardinal of forms, such as a just-cause accouterment for all workers beneath 24 years of age in adjustment to assure adolescent workers who may feel beneath assured in asserting their rights for abhorrence of accident their jobs. A bill with such an alteration would accept little adventitious of casual in Texas, but it would reframe the agitation after publicizing the aboriginal bill’s adulterated premise.
Conservatives accept continued tried, with some success, to portray unions as arrant enterprises. Right-to-work laws position unions as organizations that angle as a barrier to work, while unfairly assessing dues. This proposed affectionate accord bill is of a agnate vein—treating unions as article that harms or exploits workers, rather than as the adumbrative of workers that they are.
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