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Texas AFL-CIO

1106 Lavaca St., Suite 200
Austin, TX 78701

 

Membership

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The Texas AFL-CIO is a state federation of labor unions representing 235,000 members in more than 1,300 local unions.

 

Structure

icon_structureDelegates at the Texas AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention govern the state federation. Its officers, President Becky Moeller, Secretary-Treasurer John Patrick and a 60-member Executive Board, carry out the policies set forth at Texas AFL-CIO conventions. The Texas AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) makes statewide political endorsements at its conventions in January of even years.

The Texas AFL-CIO works closely with Central Labor Councils (CLCs) around the state. The councils are part of the national AFL-CIO. The Texas AFL-CIO also works closely with constituency groups representing Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian Americans, women and retirees affiliated with organized labor. The federation works with a variety of allies, including members of Working America, which allows non-union members to become active in the labor movement.

Every four years, the Biennial Convention elects the President and Secretary-Treasurer who are the Executive Officers. Every two years at the Biennial Convention, District Vice-Presidents, Union Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents-at-Large are elected. The Vice-Presidents and the Executive Officers constitute the Executive Board of the Texas AFL-CIO.  Between conventions, the Executive Board is the governing body.

 

Key Officers and Executive Council

texasaflcio_beckymoellerBecky Moeller, President, Texas AFL-CIO, CWA

Becky Moeller is president of the Texas AFL-CIO, overseeing the 220,000-member labor federation’s legislative, political education and community service programs.

Moeller is the first woman to hold statewide elected office in the Texas AFL-CIO, having broken that barrier in 2003 when she became Secretary-Treasurer.

Before coming to the Texas AFL-CIO, Moeller was president of the Communications Workers of America Local 6137, the Corpus Christi local representing workers at SBC (now AT&T). She is a member of Communications Workers of America Local 6137 and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 2348 currently.

In that union, Moeller served in several capacities, including job steward, chief steward, Executive Board member, vice president and secretary-treasurer, after going to work for the company and union in 1967.

Moeller has also served as President of the Coastal Bend Labor Council and as a member of the Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board. For several years, Moeller chaired the Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee.

Among her public service activities, Moeller served on her local United Way Board of Governors, the Corpus Christi Workforce Development Board and a number of voter registration drives. She also served, under an appointment by Gov. Ann Richards, as Chair of the commission that oversees the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

 

texasaflcio_johnpatrickJohn Patrick, Secretary Treasurer, Texas AFL-CIO

The Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board elected John Patrick unanimously to an unexpired term in the post on Feb. 5, 2010.
Patrick has worked in the labor movement since 1972, starting as a member of the International Association of Machinists. As a USW leader, he has been part of a union that expanded its membership base and continued its high level of worker advocacy even as the steel industry contracted. Patrick has assisted in a variety of successful and innovative organizing efforts, a role he has emphasized through his labor career.

He played a key role during bitter negotiations between USW Local 4134 and Lone Star Steel from 2003 to 2005, during which union members “walked the contract” for 23 months before obtaining a final settlement of a charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The local union overwhelmingly approved a contract in July 2005.

Patrick also served as lead spokesperson in similar strategic successes involving North Star Steel in 2004 and Gerdau Ameristeel in 2006. The Gerdau Ameristeel struggle included a nine-month lockout by management, but a successful contract ensued.

Patrick is an active Democrat who has served on the Democratic National Committee since 2004. He was part of the leadership team that grew Democratic control of Congress and helped recapture the White House in 2008.

 

Affiliates

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The largest Texas AFL-CIO affiliates in the state (memberships above 5,000) are the Texas AFT, Communications Workers of America, American Federation of Government Employees, United Steel Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Fire Fighters, United Auto Workers, Transport Workers Union, International Association of Machinists and United Transportation Union.

Many TX AFL-CIO unions are directly involved in the manufacturing industries in Texas. The federation includes the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the United Steelworkers (USW), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the United Aerospace Workers and others. TX AFL-CIO members work for defense contractors, oil refineries, gas and chemical companies and paper and air conditioning manufacturers.

(See appendixes for Executive Council)

 

Sustainability Profile

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Texas is uniquely situated in the energy market. The state is ripe for the introduction of green jobs and renewable energy sources, yet it also has the potential to be home to the terminal of the Keystone Pipeline.

The Texas AFL-CIO has a membership that largely favors the building trades (see affiliates).  In late February 2013, the AFL-CIO building trades issued a statement endorsing the construction of the pipeline. In early 2014, the Building Trades reiterated their position following a controversial State Department Report that determined the environmental impact of KXL would be minimal.  While the TX AFL-CIO has yet to comment on the Keystone Pipeline or report, the UA supports the pipeline, and its locals (Pipefitters Local 211) in Texas urged its members to sign on to a letter to Secretary Kerry advocating the pipeline in March 2015.

Texas’s renewable energy market is becoming progressively more vulnerable. While the Renewable Portfolio Standard (the RPS was created in 1999 and updated in 2005) pushed Texas to increase its wind energy capacity to be greater than any other state, Texas’s solar energy portfolio still falters.  According to Public Citizen, Texas is “lagging behind states with far less solar resources…and [is] paying the price in missed opportunities for job growth and new generation capacity that can produce during peak demand.”

On March 27, 2013, Representative Sanford of Collin County introduced a bill that would do away with the renewable portfolio standard altogether. If enacted, this bill will affect the investment climate for renewable and sustainable energy in a state that already feels the widespread effect of water shortage. Public Citizen notes, “Solar companies invest in California and other states, because smart policies created attractive markets in those places.”

With supportive policies, Texas has the potential to thrive under increased solar energy production.  Public Citizen continues, “Solar is most productive when we need it the most – on hot, sunny afternoons. Solar, like wind… has the benefit of needing very little water to operate. Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations need an occasional cleaning to keep performance high, but the amount of water need is minimal in comparison to fossil fuel options.  Coal-fired generators need billions of gallons of water to operate each year[7] and while natural gas-fired generations consume less water than coal-fired generators, they still use more than solar, even without accounting for the millions of gallons of water used to extract the gas with hydraulic fracturing” (see appendix 3 for full article).

Ostensibly, the Texas AFL-CIO is well aware of the precarious green job market in its state. President Moeller and Secretary-Treasurer John Patrick signed on to a letter in February 2013 calling for members to “tell the [Public Utilities Commission] to support solar and geothermal energy, to open up markets for more renewable energy jobs, and help us meet our energy needs in a time of drought (see appendix for full letter).

Additionally, President Becky Moeller spoke at an anti-Trans Pacific Partnership rally with the Sierra Club, Texas Fair Trade Coalition, and Occupy Texas on Saturday, May 12, 2012. She essentially said that TPP is a jobs killer and American people need to know what’s in it.  According to the Sierra Club, “the American people have been denied the right to see the text of the TPP that could weaken environmental rules, increase fracking and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), lower labor standards and wages, outsource more jobs, increase medicine prices, throw out food safety policies, ban Buy American rules, and allow multinational corporations to challenge and overturn U.S. federal and state laws in private trade tribunals that operate entirely outside of U.S. court system.”

Together with the TX BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, the Texas AFL-CIO contributed to a green jobs plan in 2011. John Patrick, Secretary-Treasurer, and Rick Levy, Legal Counsel, both serve on the Steering Committee of the Alliance. Within the plan, the TX BGA and TX AFL-CIO showed that they were “cognizant of the potential for solar development in Texas.” The plan notes that already the “IBEW Local 520 and their partners in the JATC are preparing workers for the emergence of a strong solar market.” Hopefully, the RPS won’t be reversed and these Texas workers will get to put their skills to use.

Appendixes

Appendix 1: Executive Council

 

District 1
JERRY RAGSTER, UAW
708 Pittman Street, Longview

District 2
GENE EDGERLY, IAM
4402 Shadowdale Lane, Orange

District 3
DAVID ALLEY, IBEW
1475 N. Loop West, Houston
JOHN BLAND, TWU
2000 North Loop West #132, Houston
STAN BORDOVSKY, SMW
9930 Elm Meadow Trail, Houston
LATONIA PAUL BENOIT
6026 Lancaster St., Houston
GAYLE FALLON, AFT
3100 Weslayan Street #255, Houston
RICHARD SHAW, AFSCME
2506 Sutherland, Houston
B.R. WILLIAMS, ILA
213 East Shaw, Pasadena
CALVIN SPEIGHT, UAPP
P. O. Box 8746, Houston
DEAN CORGEY, SIU
1221 Pierce, Houston
District 4
EVERETT LAND, CWA
806 Foxglove Drive, Missouri City

District 5
MIGUEL (MIKE) CARANCO, IBEW
2301 Saratoga Blvd, Corpus Christi

District 6
EDWARD REID, ATU
6315 Kingston Ranch, San Antonio
KATHERINE THOMPSON-GARCIA
7410 Castle Trail, San Antonio

District 7
TONY CHENEVERT, AFT
900 Knollwood Drive, DeSoto
LOUIS DAVIS, NALC Retiree
8622 Forrest Green Drive, Dallas
GWEN YORK
353 CR 4874, Newark
JIM MCCASLAND, Dallas AFL-CIO
1408 N.Washington #240, Dallas
ROMERO MUNOZ, UAW
4157 Astoria Street, Irving
PHILLIP PARKER, IBEW
626 Meadow Crest Road, Highland Village

District 8
T.C. GILLESPIE, CWA
421 S. Adams St., Fort Worth
MARC HOUSE, UAW
4814 Ridgeline Drive, Arlington
GARY MOFFIT, TWU
416 South Jackson Ave., Justin
TIM SMITH, IAMAW
7711 Clifford Street, Fort Worth

District 9
WALTER BEEMAN, IAM
5210 Tower Drive #137, Wichita Falls

District 10
CARL BETANCOURT, SMW
1505 Travis Heights Blvd, Austin
DAVID BINTLIFF, AFSCME
6303 Danwood Drive, Austin
MARIA JIMENEZ, CWA
7400 Ladle Lane, Austin
ANN PANNELL, IBEW
P. O. Box 18508, Austin

District 11
ABEL BOSQUEZ, IAM
1104 South Fairfield, Amarillo

District 12
SUZAN GENTRY, CWA Retiree
1104 East 56th Street, Odessa

District 13
JUDY LUGO, CWA
3225 Monroe, El Paso

District 14
MARIO R. LEAL
1017 North 20th, McAllen

District 15
JERROD STRANGE
405 50th Street, Lubbock

District 16
JOE BEUERLEIN, IUEC
478 Uptmore Road, West

District 17
CLARETTA ALLEN, CWA
802 Trinity Drive, Tyler

AFGE
JEFF DARBY
350 Magnolia, Room 160-C, Beaumont
ROGELIO “ROY” FLORES
6800 Park Ten Blvd Suite 296-W, San Antonio

AFSCME
GREG POWELL
1812 Centre Creek Drive, Suite 310, Austin

AFT
LINDA BRIDGES
3000 S IH 35 Suite 175, Austin
ERIC HARTMAN
3000 S IH 35 Suite 175, Austin
LOUIS MALFARO
3000 S IH 35 Suite 175, Austin

APALA
SHWE T. AUNG
1221 Pierce Street, Houston

APRI
CLARA CALDWELL
4414 Acard, Houston

ARA
GENE LANTZ
818 Elsbeth, Dallas

CLUW
ELLEN WAKEFIELD
5763 Fleming Ct, Watauga

CWA
NANCY HALL
1408 North Washington #300, Dallas
CURRIE HALLFORD
3907 Medical Parkway #200, Austin
SYLVIA RAMOS
4801 Southwest Parkway Bldg 1 Suite 145, Austin

FF
JOHNNY VILLARREAL
1907 Freeman Street, Houston

IAM
DANNY T. COOKE
1621 Little Fox Lane, Fort Worth

IBEW
JOHN BAKER
206 Shadowdale, Bridge City
MIKE MOSTEIT
4345 Allen Genoa Road, Pasadena

LCLAA
JOE GONZALEZ
P. O. Box 18958, Corpus Christi

TWU
TOM CARLIN
1429 Elizabeth Street, Hurst

UAW
DANNY TRULL
1341 W. Mockingbird Ln. Suite 301W, Dallas

UFCW
CHAD YOUNG
1705 W. Northwest Hwy #150, Grapevine

USW
LEE MEDLY
7234 Avenue L ½ , Santa Fe

UTU
CONNIE ENGLISH, JR.
211 E 7th Street, Suite 706, Austin

 

Appendix 2: Becky Moeller Letter

Letter from President Becky Moeller and Secretary Treasurer John Patrick on PUC

Act

Do you know an unemployed electrician, roofer, laborer or any other tradesperson who is waiting to tap into the promise of green jobs in Texas? Unfortunately, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) is refusing to act on a law that would bring enough clean, renewable energy to Texas to put thousands of Texans back to work.

With the help of our allies in the Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, you have the opportunity to tell the PUC to stop listening to high-paid industry lobbyists and implement the 500 Megawatt non-wind Renewable Portfolio Standard.

With over 1 million Texans unemployed and growing concern about the future of our energy and water supplies, the PUC can open the door for drought-proof solar and geothermal electricity and help create a market for over 21,500 manufacturing and installation jobs by 2020.

Tell the PUC to support solar and geothermal energy, to open up markets for more renewable energy jobs, and help us meet our energy needs in a time of drought.

Texas is a leader in wind energy, but, because almost all of our renewable energy comes from wind, in 2005 the Legislature passed a bill to encourage other renewable energy sources like solar and geothermal.

For the last seven years, utilities and large oil & gas producers have put so much pressure on the PUC that they’ve kept the PUC from implementing the Legislature’s initiatives to increase renewable energy in our state.

With thousands of trained electricians looking for work, a worsening drought, and significant stress on our electric grid, now is the time to produce electricity from sources like solar and geothermal power. Just a few weeks ago, Texas State Senator Kirk Watson again asked the PUC to take action and implement the law.

Join Senator Watson and Texans across the state in asking for more clean energy jobs, more clean energy, and more power that preserves our environment while supporting economic development in our communities.

Texas leads the nation in low-wage jobs with over 550,000 workers paid at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage. Jobs installing and managing solar, geothermal, and other renewable power will be good jobs Texans can be proud of. Already the solar industry is flocking to places like San Antonio, where local solar goals are attracting companies and jobs from across the country. Tell the PUC you want a sustainable, 21st century economy that embraces clean energy and puts Texans back to work in high-wage, family-supporting jobs.

Don’t let the PUC delay any longer. Tell them to implement the 500 MW non-wind RPS, and set a further 3,000 MW target for 2025. Please share this petition with friends, labor leaders, renewable energy advocates and local officials.

In solidarity,

 

Becky Moeller, President, Texas AFL-CIO

 

John Patrick, Secretary-Treasurer, Texas AFL-CIO

 

Appendix 3: Texas Clean Energy Goals Under Attack

Texas Clean Energy Goals Under Attack

March 27, 2013 by kaibawhite

It wouldn’t be a Texas legislative session without some truly backwards bills.  Today we have House Bill 2026 by freshman Representative Sanford of Collin county that would eliminate our state renewable energy goals.

In 1999, the state of Texas made a commitment to renewable energy in the form of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS).  That decision played a major role in spurring the development of the wind industry in Texas.

We have now exceeded the renewable energy goals established in the 2005 update to the RPS and Texas has more wind energy capacity than any other state.[1]  On the surface that may seem to indicate that the RPS has been 100% successful and is no longer needed, but that isn’t the case.

One of the major reasons for establishing the RPS was to encourage diversification of our energy sources, which ultimately makes us more resilient to physical and economic forces that can impact the availability and price of energy sources.  While wind energy has increased from zero percent when the RPS was first established to around ten percent today, other renewable energy sources are still largely absent from our energy portfolio.

With more solar energy potential than any other state, Texas should be the center point of the solar industry as well.[2] Instead we are lagging behind states with far less solar resources, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania,[3] and are paying the price in missed opportunities for job growth and new generation capacity that can produce during peak demand.

Solar companies invest in California and other states, because smart policies created attractive markets in those places.  California has 1,505 solar companies compared to Texas’ 260. Even New Jersey has more, with 382.[4] Texas should be doing more, not less to attract solar businesses to our state.

Projections showing that we won’t have enough electricity to meet demand by 2020.[5] The maximum wholesale price of electricity has been set to triple by 2015, without even determining what the cost to consumers will be.  There have been workshops and meetings to consider the prospect of implementing a capacity market in Texas, which would raise costs even more.  But little time has been spent considering simpler, cheaper solutions such as expanding efficiency and demand response (where customers get paid to reduce there energy usage for short periods of time when demand is high) and getting more solar capacity built in Texas.  Solar is most productive when we need it the most – on hot, sunny afternoons.

The RPS should be retooled to focus on solar and other renewable energy resources that are most capable of producing during peak demand.  Millions of dollars could be saved in the wholesale electric market if we had more solar panels installed.[6]

Solar, like wind, also has the benefit of needing very little water to operate.  Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations need an occasional cleaning to keep performance high, but the amount of water need is minimal in comparison to fossil fuel options.  Coal-fired generators need billions of gallons of water to operate each year[7] and while natural gas-fired generations consume less water than coal-fired generators, they still use more than solar, even without accounting for the millions of gallons of water used to extract the gas with hydraulic fracturing.[8]  Including more renewable energy in our portfolio will make our electric grid less vulnerable to drought[9] and will free up water supplies that are desperately needed for human consumption and agriculture.

Abandoning the RPS now would send a terrible signal to renewable energy companies that are deciding where to establish their businesses.  Our state made a commitment that isn’t set to expire until 2025 at the earliest.  There is no good reason to abandon the policy now.  We should be moving in the opposite direction of what is proposed in HB 2026.  Instead of giving up on a policy that has been successful, we should be looking at ways to build on that success and benefit our state.


[1] AWEA. “Wind Energy Facts: Texas.” Oct 2012.http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/factsheets/upload/3Q-12-Texas.pdf.

[2] NREL. “U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS Based Analysis.” July, 2012. Pg. 10-13. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51946.pdf.

[3] SEIA. Solar Industry Data. http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-industry-data#state_rankings.

[4] SEIA. State Solar Policy. http://www.seia.org/policy/state-solar-policy.

[5] “Report on the Capacity, Demand, and Reserves in the ERCOT Region.” Dec 2012. Pg 8.http://www.ercot.com/content/news/presentations/2012/CapacityDemandandReservesReport_Winter_2012_Final.pdf.

[6] Weiss, Jurgen, Judy Chang and Onur Aydin. “The Potential Impact of Solar PV on Electricity Markets in Texas.” The Brattle Group.  June 19, 2012.http://www.seia.org/sites/default/files/brattlegrouptexasstudy6-19-12-120619081828-phpapp01.pdf.

[7] “Environmental impacts of coal power: water use” Union of Concerned Scientistshttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02b.html

[8] http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-energy-electricity-natural-gas.html

[9] Wu, M. and M. J. Peng.  “Developing a Tool to Estimate Water Use in Electric Power Generation in the United States.” Argonne National Laboratory – U.S. Department of Energy. http://greet.es.anl.gov/publication-watertool.

http://texasvox.org/2013/03/27/texas-clean-energy-goals-under-attack/

 

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