**El Paso, TX (February 5, 2007)** – National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officials have issued a formal complaint and agreed to prosecute a local security guard union and employer for unlawfully suspending a local guard without pay in retaliation for asserting his legal right to refrain from union membership.
The complaint stems from charges Juan Vielma, a local AKAL Security employee, filed against the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) union and his employer with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.
Vielma’s charge details how the SPFPA union hierarchy holds a monopoly bargaining agreement with his employer that illegally makes financial support for the union a mandatory condition of employment.
AKAL Security, a national contract security provider, capitulated to the union hierarchy’s illegal demands when they indefinitely suspended Vielma without pay in June 2006 for failure to formally join union ranks and pay money to the union. Under protections afforded by Texas’ highly-popular Right to Work law, union membership and dues payment are strictly voluntary. While Texas state prosecutors are yet to take action to enforce these clear violations of Texas criminal law, Foundation attorneys persuaded federal officials to pursue the matter to the extent possible under federal law.
AKAL Security and SPFPA union officials are falsely claiming that Vielma and his 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. NLRB investigators disagreed, and 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.
“Such blatant violations of the freedom of association are unbecoming of the State of Texas’ long tradition of defending employees’ Right to Work,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The union hierarchy wants Mr. Vielma and his coworkers to just shut up and pay up.”
Foundation attorneys seek reinstatement and back pay for Vielma, as well as a notice to all AKAL Security employees about their rights to refrain from union membership and dues payment. The NLRB has scheduled a hearing for March 13, 2007, before an administrative law judge.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year.