Security Guard Hits Union with Federal Charges for Threatening Jobs for Refraining from Union Membership
**Corpus Christi, TX (April 3, 2007)** – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a local Asset Protection and Security Services guard filed federal charges against the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) union and his employer today after union officials unlawfully threatened to have him fired for asserting his legal right to refrain from formal union membership and payment of union dues.
Carlos Banuelos’ charge, filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), details how the SPFPA union hierarchy holds an illegal monopoly bargaining agreement with his employer that makes financial support for the union a mandatory condition of employment.
Asset Protection and Security Services (ASSET), an international security provider of armed and unarmed security personnel, enforced its illegal requirement and ordered Banuelos to pay a fee to the union or face termination. However, Texas is one of 22 states that has passed a Right to Work law, ensuring that union membership and dues payment are strictly voluntary.
“Union officials are trampling Texas’ long standing freedom provided under the state’s Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary, ” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The public needs the State’s Attorney General to step in here, because union officials are repeatedly thumbing their noses at Texas’ popular Right to Work law.”
This is the second charge filed within months in Texas where the Foundation has helped an employee fight back against unlawful dues demands from the SPFPA union hierarchy. Juan Vielma, a security guard for AKAL Security in El Paso, prompted the NLRB to issue a formal complaint against the same union for unlawfully suspending him without pay in retaliation for asserting his legal right to refrain from union membership. The NLRB held a related hearing last month, and Vielma and Foundation attorneys are currently awaiting a ruling.
SPFPA union officials are falsely claiming that Vielma, Banuelos, and their colleagues work on federal property that is not protected by the Right to Work law – and thus can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. In the El Paso case, NLRB investigators determined that the union had no proof of these claims, just as they are expected to do in Corpus Christi. Accordingly, the NLRB Regional Director found that the union hierarchy violated federal law by restraining and coercing employees exercising their limited rights under the National Labor Relations Act to refrain from union participation.