Labor Unions

  • Blogs

    September 1, 2014

    Happy Labor Day! Houston Has More Workplace Fatalities Than Other Texas Cities

    Friday marked the end of the national Labor Rights Week, which takes place every year during the last week of August leading up to Labor Day. But Houston as a city isn't in the best position when it comes to worker safety. Labor Rights Week -- organized by the U.S. Department of Labor in conjunct ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2014

    Report Puts Houston Among Big Cities Closing Schools Serving Communities of Color

    A coalition of grass-roots community groups has included the Houston Independent School District in its report this month about school closings that disproportionately affect communities of color. While Houston among the cities with triple digit closings like Detroit, New York and Chicago, it did m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2014

    NCAA Must Be Worried College Football Players Won Bid to Unionize

    After decades of exploiting football players as highly inexpensive labor, the clock may be officially ticking on the NCAA. Last year, it was the class action lawsuit settled out of court between college football players (past and present) and EA Sports for video game royalties. The Ed O'Bannon law ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2013

    Maximus Coffee Workers Strike to Protest Planned Wage Cuts; Voodoo Queen Supports Strikers

    It still smells like coffee outside the Maximus Coffee Group plant on Harrisburg Boulevard in the Second Ward, but there's no smoke coming from the plant's exhaust chimneys, and no trucks are driving in and out of the complex carrying Maximus coffee. Ninety percent of the 250 unionized workers at M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2013

    Fast Food Employees Across Houston Striking Today for Higher Wages

    In the wake of strikes that started in New York back in November and more protests throughout the Midwest earlier this summer, fast food employees in the South and on the West Coast are planning walk-outs of their own. Today, fast food workers in more than 35 cities across the country are striking ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2013

    Workers at ExxonMobil's Massive Baytown Plant (Almost) Went On Strike over safety

    The folks over at Exxon Mobil's Baytown refinery were facing a possible Norma Rae situation last week when local United Steelworkers representatives threatened a strike if the Exxon people didn't put in the health and safety provisions they'd asked for in their contracts. Local USW rep Rich "Hoot" ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2011

    Drivers Protest as Metro Contract Negotiations Grind to Halt

    Photo by Brittanie Shey​Union members lined the north and east side of Metro's downtown headquarters this morning -- a prime visibility location for those taking the light rail to work -- to protest the breakdown in contract negotiations between Metro's leadership and members of the Transporta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Union Leaders, Corrupt and Not

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2011

    Ronald & Anita Witt: Union Officials Lived High Life on Members' Money, Feds Say

    Signs point to fraud, feds say.​A husband-wife team of union officials lived the high life on members' money, federal prosecutors charged in indictments announced today. Ronald Witt, 64, and his wife Anita, 56, were respectively the business manager and treasurer of local 450 of the Internati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    Gothic Council Debates Unionization, Johnny Cash​In Wisconsin, there's a huge political fight over what form of bargaining state-worker unions will be able to use in the future, and it got us thinking. After all, goths provide many valuable goods and services to the community, such as dark music, disturbing art, and a whole ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2010

    Juliet Stipeche Wins HISD Board Seat In Squeaker

    Someone you haven't heard of beat someone else you haven't heard of for the District VIII board seat in the Houston school district tonight. Attorney Juliet Stipeche topped former teacher Judith Cruz by 48 votes out of 2,032 cast, according to unofficial HISD results. She was endorsed by the teach ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2010

    Long, Loud And Raw Houston School Board Meeting Leaves Few Happy

    It wasn't quite like this at last night's HISD board meeting, but it was close​In a lengthy and tumultuous school board meeting Thursday night, trustees voted 8-1 to fire Principal Mable Caleb and five other administrators and teachers from the Key/Kashmere mess, approved another 170 employe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2010

    Unions Take to the Barricades For Old Teachers

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Both the local AFL-CIO chapter and the Houston Federation of Teachers are urging a huge turnout at Thursday night's Houston ISD board meeting to protest planned layoffs of teachers and other district employees in an attempt to stop what one union leader calls "this insane ... More >>

  • News

    March 25, 2010

    Welcome to Arizona

    Judge who helped BP went on junket party on their tab.

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2010

    HISD's Breakfast Was Pop Tarts and Animal Crackers

    Photo courtesy Orell Fitzsimmons​The upcoming cost-savings cutback in hours for cafeteria workers in the Houston ISD brought union leader Orell Fitzsimmons over to two HISD elementaries this week and when he looked in on the actual breakfast being served, he was not amused."Milk, juice, Pop Tarts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2009

    HISD Regional Supervisor May Have Memory Problems About Teacher Concerns At T.H. Rogers

    T.H. Rogers is known as a pretty great school, in or out of the Houston Independent School District. But as my column this week ("Let the Record Reflect") shows, the principal there, Dr. Cathryn White, is at odds with several of her teachers.Quoted in the story is the Regional Supervisor who oversee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2009

    The Pitch Forks Come Out Near The Galleria

    Photo by Blake WhitakerHolding a pro-union demonstration near Voss and San Felipe, a short distance from the epicenter of frou-frou that is the Galleria, seems likely to elicit a less-than-enthusiastic response from passersby. But economic trouble has turned things around a bit, and local activists ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2009

    Cops Taking On Quannel X? No Uniforms Allowed

    Some working stiffs would love to hear their boss tell them, "Hey, don't worry about those stuffy work clothes." But when that boss is HPD Chief Harold Hurtt, and those stiffs are three officers announcing a lawsuit against two men who publicly accused them of brutality, it smacks of top brass refus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2008

    Metro Gets Picketed

    About 30 Metro employees picketed the downtown transit center this morning, demanding that Metro save benefits planned to be cut, and improve other benefits. Members of Transportation Workers Union 260 told the Houston Press that contract negotiations were planned today, and they feared losing bene ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2008
  • Dining

    April 5, 2007

    Swift Meatpacking Plant and Illegal Immigrants

    Swift & Company pitted employee against employee when it replaced injured workers with illegal immigrants

  • News

    May 5, 2005
  • News

    January 15, 2004

    Moving Target

    The city is rolling out the welcome mat for CITGO. But many workers want the company to get lost.

  • News

    December 25, 2003

    Masters and Commanders

    A cruise is a great way to take a break as long as you're not belowdecks

  • News

    November 6, 2003

    Pens and Needles

    Federal turf fights and deals mark the legacy of a union bribery case

  • News

    October 30, 2003

    Behind the Happy Face

    Labor pains flare in a worker's fight with Wal-Mart

  • News

    January 17, 2002

    War on bin Laden -- or Unions?

    Bush's battle against terrorism now bars some federal labor activities

  • News

    January 10, 2002

    Riding Short

    Houston firefighters say the city has been playing Russian roulette by carrying crews of three members instead of four on its trucks. Last October, Jay Paul Jahnke anted up with his life.

  • News

    January 11, 2001

    Days of Paige

    Did Bush pick a master educator - or an overpaid front man?

  • News

    December 28, 2000

    Worked Over

    Quietflex laborers laud EEOC findings after setbacks

  • News

    July 6, 2000

    He's an Out-of-Comptroller!

    Former city tourism official accused of paying mom's nursing home bills out of agency funds

  • News

    May 11, 2000

    Workers Reject a Union

    A January walkout fails to bring representation to Quietflex

  • News

    February 24, 2000

    Awakening Giant

    Immigrant Hispanic workers at Quietflex spoke out. Now their struggle may reshape organized labor in Houston.

  • News

    October 1, 1998

    Steel Reunion

    Union Tank Car vote reflects labor's rebound

  • News

    April 2, 1998

    All in a Day's Work

    Lockheed Martin's welfare-reform efforts have cost taxpayers across the country millions. So naturally, Lockheed Martin has been hired to train and find jobs for the poor in Houston and Harris County.

  • News

    July 10, 1997

    Cozy Ties

    In the battle to privatize welfare services in Texas, corporate bidders have enlisted some inside help

  • News

    January 2, 1997

    Bad Boy In Blue

    Union head Hans Marticiuc (rhymes with wreck) takes aim at the police chief, the mayor, other labor leaders and anyone else who gets in his way

  • News

    October 31, 1996


    Rent by charges of corruption and ineffective representation, Teamsters Local 988 may be driving itself to destruction

  • News

    July 11, 1996

    The Fine This Time

    OSHA spanks Exxon for safety lapses at its Baytown refinery

  • News

    May 9, 1996

    Beneath the Dogs

    A court victory for laid-off Latino workers spotlights the harsh conditions in Houston's surplus of small plastics plants

  • News

    April 18, 1996

    The Fire Next Time?

    Downsizing, outsourcing, deferred maintenance ... It all makes for a volatile mix at Baytown's Exxon refinery.

  • News

    August 31, 1995

    Gayle Force

    A vigorous advocate for teachers and the bane of HISD administrators, confrontational union boss Gayle Fallon wields a growing power over the direction of Houston's public schools

  • News

    May 26, 1994
  • News

    May 26, 1994

    Hard Labor

    The employees of Allied Fibers came to America looking for work and freedom. They found work.