People under the age of 18 have to get parental permission for a lot of things. In Texas, that list includes getting married, getting an abortion, and joining the military. Soon, it could include joining a union. Moshe Z. Marvit reports on a bill that’s been pre-filed for the Texas legislature’s session starting in January that would do just that. Anyone under 18 years of age would need parental permission to join a union, because unions are a thing teens desperately need to be protected from. But, uh:
If the bill passes, children as young as 14 will be able to enter into an employment agreement with most employers without parental consent, but they will not be permitted to join a union without a signed parental consent.
The purpose of such a bill is not immediately clear. There appears to be no problem for which this bill is a solution. Texas has long been a right-to-work state, which means that any worker who is represented by a union can choose to pay no dues. It is also not clear how many unions even have minors as members in Texas.
Teens can and do die on the job, but let’s by all means protect them from unions, which make workplaces safer by bargaining for improved training, working conditions, and safety equipment. Of course teens don’t need protecting from unions—but passing a law is a good way to to create the impression that there’s some big problem of unions endangering kids.
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