April 21, 2014
By AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Washington, DC – Arguably the only thing more tragic than the West, Texas explosion that killed fifteen and injured hundreds one year ago today is that so little has been done to prevent another such man-made disaster.
In a well working democracy, this disaster would have been the subject of debate in which well-intentioned people of different ideologies came together to forge solutions to forestall the next threat. Instead, as noted by the Houston Chronicle last week, “The deadly explosion at West Fertilizer Co. leveled homes, shattered families and left a lasting mark on this small town in Central Texas. But little, if anything, has changed elsewhere in the state because of the catastrophe.”
The only way Texas, and the country as a whole, will become more responsive to the needs of society as a whole is if America’s working people band together to demand better. The single human innovation with the best track record of protecting working people is the union, and as we continue to invest in organizing workers in Texas, we will help make Texas work better for all Texans, not just the 1% who profit from the chaos of an unfettered market.