Texas Guardsmen make plans to unionize amid Abbott's controversial border mission

Texas Guardsmen make plans to unionize amid Abbott's controversial border mission

Airma 1st Class Ashlyn Robinson, 190th Air Refueling Wing and Cpl. Krista Smith, 731st Composite Truck Company, assist in packing food items at Harvesters in Topeka, Kansas, April 22, 2020. The boxes of food will be shipped to families across the state. Harvesters is a regional food bank at serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas and provides food and related household products to more than 760 nonprofit agencies. Kansas National Guardsmen have been working eight-hour shifts at Harvesters to meet t

Several National Guardsmen in Texas are moving forward with efforts to unionize amid controversy surrounding the latest border assignment ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

According to Military.com, the guardsmen are reportedly corroborating with Texas State Employees Union in hopes of establishing a union for National Guard soldiers. Speaking to Military.com, the guardsmen leading the proposed initiative spoke on the condition of confidentiality. He expressed frustration and concern about the treatment guardsmen have been subjected to as a result of Abbott's "politically driven" agenda.

"We're getting treated like sh--," the soldier said. "This is all politically driven. I voted for Abbott. I agree with a lot of his politics, but not when it comes at the expense of the involuntary mobilization for upwards for 12 months. That isn't what we signed up for. We signed on the dotted line, but not for this."

The leading soldier believes a union could serve as a form of empowerment to give guardsmen the courage and public platform they need to bring their concerns to lawmakers so they can lobby for favorable legislation. A union would also provide more outlets for soldiers to make their grievances known.

Will Attig, executive director of the Union Veterans Council's American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), weighed in to express the importance of guardsmen having a viable platform where their concerns can be heard.

"These are people who dedicated their lives to serve their country," Attig told Military.com. "These members clearly felt the need to have a voice. What does that say about the state of affairs over there?"

Per Military.com, the soldiers' push back comes shortly after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in its January court filing that "federal law banning service members from forming unions does not prohibit Guardsmen on state orders."

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