THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Monday, August 13, 2007

Texas Attorney General Obtains Permanent Injunction Against Corpus Christi Employer in Right-to-Work Case

CORPUS CHRISTI Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Friday secured a permanent injunction against a Corpus Christi employer that unlawfully forced workers to join a labor union in violation of the state’s right-to-work laws.

The agreed final judgment, filed in the 117th Judicial District Court in Nueces County, prohibits Asset Protection and Security Services, L.P. (APSS) from enforcing unlawful provisions in the collective bargaining agreement APSS entered into with the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) and the union’s Local 727 chapter.

The law guarantees important right-to-work protections for Texas workers, Attorney General Abbott said. This judgment ensures that APSS employees have the right to work without being forced 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.

APSS, which provides security services to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Los Fresnos Detention Facility in Bayview (also known as the Port Isabel Service Processing Center), must refrain from enforcing a union security clause that requires employees to join SPFPA or pay membership dues as a condition of employment. APSS must also post written notice to current employees that the clause will no longer be enforced.

In July, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA), Local 727 and APSS, which provides security services to the ICE facility.

APSS will also refund membership dues it collected from security guard Carlos Banuelos, who received employment threats from the company for refusing to pay SPFPA membership dues. In order to avoid termination, Banuelos complied with the unlawful demand.

In July, the Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against SPFPA, Local 727 and APSS for violating the state’s right-to-work laws. Under the Texas Labor Code, employers are prohibited from denying employment to workers who decline to join or make payments to a labor union. The Attorney General’s case against the union is still pending.