Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Union for Threatening to Have Security Guards Fired for Refusal to Pay Union Dues
**Corpus Christi, TX (July 9, 2007)** – Spearheading an effort to prevent erosion of Texas’ highly popular Right to Work law, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys have persuaded National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officials to prosecute a union for unlawfully threatening local security guards’ jobs. But the state’s own prosecutors have yet to take formal legal action to enforce multiple violations of Texas law.
Carlos Banuelos, a local Asset Protection and Security Services guard, filed federal charges in April against the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) union and his employer after union officials unlawfully threatened to have him (and other employees) fired for asserting their legal right to refrain from formal union membership and payment of union dues.
Banuelos’ charge details how the SPFPA union hierarchy maintains an illegal monopoly bargaining agreement with his employer that makes financial support for the union a mandatory condition of employment. Union officials enforced that illegal requirement and ordered Banuelos and his coworkers to pay a fee to the union or face termination. Texas is one of 22 states that have a Right to Work law, ensuring that union membership and dues payment are strictly voluntary.
This is the second complaint issued within months in Texas where Foundation attorneys have helped employees fight back against unlawful dues demands from the SPFPA union hierarchy. SPFPA union officials falsely claim that Banuelos and his coworkers work on an “exclusive federal enclave” that is not protected by the Right to Work law – and thus can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment.
Foundation president Mark Mix reiterated his earlier requests to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to investigate and aggressively prosecute widespread violations of the Right to Work law. In oral argument in a parallel case, an attorney for another company with a contract with the SPFPA union even boasted that they require employees to pay dues “across the country in Right to Work states.” Evidence shows union officials have established these forced dues requirements at multiple worksites under apparently fraudulent agreements.
“Union officials are trampling the employee freedoms provided under Texas law,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The time has come for Attorney General Greg Abbott to take aggressive action to stop union officials from thumbing their noses at his state’s Right to Work law.”
In the parallel case in El Paso, Foundation attorneys successfully secured a reinstatement offer for Juan Vielma, a security guard for AKAL Security whom union officials had illegally suspended without pay for over a year for refusal to pay dues. Agreeing with Foundation attorneys, a federal Administrative Law Judge ruled that SPFPA union officials had no legal authority to compel Vielma to pay dues.