One of the many advantages of the collective bargaining agreement between your Local Union and the company is protection from arbitrary discipline. Your Union Contract only permits the company to discipline you for just cause.
Without such a Contract, Texas and Louisiana follow the traditional rules of employment “at will.” This means without a Union Contract, you can be fired or disciplined for any reason or no reason at all (unless, of course, the action is taken because of certain Federally protected rights).
In the Texas case of Striver v. Texas Instruments, Inc., decided by the Court of Appeals for the Fourteenth District in Houston, “employee handbooks, employee benefit booklets and similar documents have been held to be insufficient written memoranda of a contractual employment agreement limiting the employer’s right to discharge an employee at will…” Very simply, this means that if all you had was your employee handbook issued by the company, you would not have the protections that you now have under your collective bargaining agreement. The legal protection that you have under your Union Contract applies to part-time and full-time employees.