WDP in Houston Chronicle

What's Happening
WORKING A plea for fair play By L.M. SIXEL Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle Jan. 19, 2011, 10:08PM It's been going on for years. But the slumping economy has given more companies a motive to misclassify employees as independent contractors to save money on payroll taxes, employee benefits and safety. "It's getting harder to compete," said Mike Holland, division president of Marek Brothers Systems, a Houston-based commercial interior construction firm. Marek classifies its 2,000 workers in Texas as employees rather than independent contractors, he said. That means Marek pays the employer's half of Social Security taxes, pays unemployment insurance taxes, and provides employees a 401(k) plan and subsidized health insurance. Marek classifies its 2,000 workers in Texas as employees rather than independent contractors, he said. That means Marek pays the employer's…
Read More

Two Construction Workers Fall From Makeshift Scaffold, One dead:

What's Happening
See local news coverage by clicking here On the afternoon of January 27th two construction workers fell three stories from an improperly constructed scaffold, killing 29 year old Elvis Mendez and leaving another worker seriously injured. The two men were doing caulking work at the Village on Little Texas apartment complex, a city-subsidized affordable housing project. According to Danilo Avila, a co-worker of the men, the work crew had been finalizing construction and the majority of the construction workers were from Dallas, including Elvis Mendez who left behind a wife and two children. “It’s not right that something like this should happen. No one should have to die on the job,” stated Mr. Avila. The Village on Little Texas is owned by Austin Housing Finance Corp, a for-profit developer that…
Read More

Day of the Fallen

What's Happening
Time Wednesday, March 2, 2011 · 3:30pm - 5:30pm Location Meet at Federal Building (300 E. 8th St. Austin, TX) and then march to the Capitol (201 E. 14th St. Austin, TX) More Info Join us on March 2nd, 2011 as we commemorate the 138 workers who lost their lives while working construction here in Texas. We will carry 138 coffins representing these fallen workers beginning at the Federal Building and ending with a rally at the State Capitol. We will hold a rally on the front steps to bring awareness to these safety issues as legislators decide the destiny of our bills. Join us on March 2nd, 2011 as we ask our lawmakers to protect the very people who build our state.
Read More
5604 Manor- Our new home

5604 Manor- Our new home

What's Happening
In a wired world, we too easily mistake electronic connections for community. Building the deep connections that come with real community takes more than email and web pages. The connections that can sustain us in our personal and political lives are nurtured in face-to-face conversation and collective efforts to build a better world. Places and spaces for this work are crucial. Several progressive groups in Austin have come together to purchase and renovate a community center that can provide a building and grounds for this work. 5604 Manor began as a collaborative venture of the Workers Defense Project, Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and Third Coast Workers for Cooperation. Committed to expanding real democracy and economic justice in a sustainable world, these groups hoped to find a building centrally located…
Read More