Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
February 20, 2013
(512) 463-0300


(AUSTIN) — Labor union votes would have to take place by secret ballot under a bill announced at a press conference today. The announcement also included a new "worker bill of rights" unveiled by Attorney General Greg Abbott. This document reaffirms a worker's right to not participate in a labor union. "At a time when jobs matter more than anything else, we want all Texas workers to know their rights and we want to protect their rights from abusive labor practices," said Abbott.

The document also affirms that dues paid to labor unions are voluntary and cannot be deducted from wages without approval, nor can a worker be denied employment or fired for refusing to join a union.

The Senate legislation announced Wednesday, SB 674 by Amarillo Senator Kel Seliger, would require that all union elections be conducted by secret ballot. Seliger said that it's important that workers feel free to make decisions and cast votes free of coercion. Seliger told reporters that the bill is not anti-union, as it has no prohibitions against any right to assembly or organize already allowed in the state. "It secures the principles that makes Texas such a business friendly state," he said. "A state in which businesses and unions work together, as long as every entities' rights are protected."

The Senate will reconvene Monday, February 25 at 2 p.m.

Session video and all other Senate webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's Audio/Video Archive.