Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The law guarantees important right-to-work protections for Texas workers, Attorney General Abbott said. Texans have the right to work without having to join a labor union or pay union dues. The Office of the Attorney General will aggressively enforce Texas’ right-to-work laws and will take all necessary measures to protect workers’ freedom from compulsory union membership.
According to the Attorney General’s enforcement action, the SPFPA and Deco-Akal entered into an unlawful collective bargaining agreement that violates Texas’ right-to-work laws. Their unlawful contract required Deco-Akal employees to join the union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. The Texas Labor Code prohibits employers from denying employment to workers who decline to join or make payments to a labor union.
SPFPA officials have falsely claimed that Deco-Akal’s El Paso facility fell exclusively within federal jurisdiction. However, in June, a federal administrative law judge ruled against SPFPA, holding instead that the property was not a federal enclave. The judge’s order stems from Deco-Akal’s indefinite suspension of Juan Vielma, a security guard who refused to pay his contractually mandated SPFPA membership dues. The ruling ordered Deco-Akal to reinstate Vielma and pay back his lost wages and benefits.
Today’s enforcement action also seeks civil penalties against SPFPA up to $1,000 per violation and reimbursement to employees for any fees employees paid under the unlawful agreement.