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Workers Defense Demands Gov. Abbott Add Heat Safety to Special Legislative Session

For Immediate Release
Contact: Christine Bolaños, (512)466-9258,

Join us for March, Vigil & Rally on Sept. 7 at Governor’s Mansion

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Workers Defense Action Fund celebrates a Travis County Judge’s ruling of HB 2127 “Death Star” law as unconstitutional as a win for immigrant and working Texans but the fight for mandated heat safety protections at the statewide level is far from over. 

The reality is that even if the rest break ordinances that our members fought so hard to win in Austin and Dallas in 2010 and 2015, respectively, remain intact for the time being they are at risk of becoming nullified if the ruling is appealed and the case heads to the Texas Supreme Court. 

That is why our members and staff, along with our allies at the Texas Organizing Project, Texas AFL-CIO, Every Texan, CRECEN, and Nonviolent Austin are taking the fight to the Governor’s Mansion where we will demand that Governor Greg Abbott add heat safety to the upcoming special legislative session. 

Join us for a march, rally and vigil to ‘Fight Back Against HB 2127’ beginning at 5 pm at the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Austin on Thursday, Sept. 7.  

“The overturning of HB 2127 represents the power of everyday Texans and immigrants to spark change and fight for democracy at the city and county level,” said Eva Marroquin, an Austin construction worker and longtime member of Workers Defense. “Going to work shouldn’t be a death warrant for construction workers and the rest break ordinances that we won, and that cities like San Antonio are working to pass, save lives.”

Together with its allies, Workers Defense Action Fund is collaborating with local elected officials to pass policies that allow for everyday Texans – the people who build our schools, hospitals, streets, and bridges – to thrive. 

“State leaders who have failed Texas workers session after session are no longer satisfied with their own inaction and instead have moved on to outright and malicious obstruction by preventing city and county leaders from implementing life-saving measures for their own residents and workers,” said Workers Defense Policy Director David Chincanchan. “That is why we are working with our allies and elected officials who center the interests of everyday Texans to demand that Gov. Abbott add heat safety to the upcoming special legislative session.”

Below are statements from our allies:

“Gov. Abbott and his Republican friends in the legislature are clamping down on not just our cities’ and counties’ ability to better serve the needs of working Texans, but our fundamental rights,” said Kevin LeMelle, TOP board member from San Antonio. “Every resident of our state deserves to have their basic rights respected and dignity upheld — no matter their age, race, or background — yet Abbott and his GOP buddies continue to infringe on our basic freedoms and our communities’ abilities to govern themselves on housing, worker’s rights and so much more. TOP is proud to join forces with statewide allies in fighting back against this overreach and to call for the repeal of this harmful bill.”

“All working Texans, from Amarillo to Brownsville, deserve safe workplaces supported by people- centered statewide policy solutions. Governor Abbott and Texas’ most powerful elected officials continue to fight against working families and the local solutions we’ve enacted to protect our families while offering no statewide solutions.  Now is the time for statewide heat protection for construction workers,” said Amanda Posson, Senior Policy Analyst for Worker Power at Every Texan 

“While HB 2127 has rightfully been declared unconstitutional, the state’s attack on working people continues. Every day that goes by without statewide rest break requirements is a day the workers who build Texas have their lives put at risk. Gov. Abbott has a duty to protect all Texans, he must act now to prevent any further worker illnesses or deaths. Nobody deserves to die on the job,” said Leonard Aguilar with Texas AFL-CIO. 

“It is unconscionable to me that workers still don’t have a state right to rest and water breaks, especially in a state as hot as Texas. This is no way to treat the workers who build our state and our communities,” said Rep. Lulu Flores. “Workers need relief now. State leadership missed an opportunity during the regular session to ensure we protect workers from heat related tragedies. We know there is another special session coming, and I hope the governor will add paid rest and water breaks to the next special session call.”


Workers Defense Action Fund is a statewide organization dedicated to empowering low-wage workers and immigrants across Texas to pass policies and support candidates that address injustices in their communities.