Another Corpus Christi Security Guard Files Charges After Illegal ‘Pay Union Dues or Be Fired’ Threat
**Corpus Christi, TX (September 5, 2007)** – For the second time in six months, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys have helped a security guard employed by Asset Protection and Security Services file unfair labor practice charges after union officials threatened workers with termination if they failed to pay union dues.
Under Texas’ Right to Work law, on the books since 1947, no employee can be required to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of employment.
Ramona Trevino joined fellow employee Carlos Banuelos in filing charges with help from Foundation attorneys challenging the enforcement of the illegal forced dues clause in the employment contract between Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) union officials and their employer. Trevino also filed charges against Asset for enforcing the unlawful forced dues clause.
Banuelos’ earlier charges have already triggered a prosecution by the National Labor Relations Board. SPFPA union officials claim, with no basis whatsoever, that Banuelos, Trevino, and their coworkers work on an “exclusive federal enclave” that is not protected by the Right to Work law – and therefore can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment.
Under similar circumstances, Foundation attorneys successfully secured the reinstatement of Juan Vielma, a security guard for AKAL Security in El Paso, 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.
Trevino’s charge further emphasizes what is likely a widespread violation of Texas’ Right to Work law. In oral argument in Vielma’s case, an attorney for another security 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 that union officials have established these forced dues requirements at multiple worksites under apparently fraudulent agreements.
Responding to demands of Texas citizens, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took long-awaited legal action in July to enforce the Right to Work law in the Vielma and Banuelos cases. However, Texans await further action by the Attorney General to address the statewide pattern of Right to Work law violations.
“Union officials are trampling Texas’ long standing freedom to earn a living without paying money to union bosses for the privilege,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Union officials need to learn that the Lone Star state takes its Right to Work law very seriously.”