Tampa, Fla. (November 4, 2003) — Five non-union security officers at the Tampa Federal Courthouse today hit the United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) union Local 132 with a lawsuit for illegally threatening to have them fired for refusing to join or financially support the union.
With free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation, Fred Bohlig and four coworkers filed the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County, Florida. The actions of UGSOA officials violate Florida’s Right to Work law, which protects workers from being forced to join or pay agency fees to an unwanted union.
“This case is yet another example of how union officials are willing to silence dissent and trample the First Amendment right of free association,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
In October, as part of an effort to pressure non-union workers, UGSOA union officials posted a notice at the Tampa Federal Courthouse claiming all security officers would lose their jobs unless they agreed to either join the union or pay a non-member agency fee.
The notice falsely claimed that the security officers worked on federal property and thus were not protected by Florida’s Right to Work law and could be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. While it is true workers employed on exclusive federal property are not covered by a state Right to Work law, all evidence shows the Tampa Federal Courthouse is not such a location.
“These bully tactics demonstrate why the vast majority of Florida workers are fortunate to work under the protections of a Right to Work Law,” stated Gleason.