Attorney general cracks down on forced unionization

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently sued employers and a labor organization in El Paso and Corpus Christi for allegedly forcing employees to become union members or pay union dues in violation of the state’s right-to-work law.

The attorney general got involved in the case after a federal administrative law judge determined that the state had an interest and jurisdiction in an El Paso case in which an employee was suspended for refusing to pay union dues because the facility was not an “exclusive federal enclave.”

In El Paso, Abbott hopes to prevent the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 725 and the security firm Deco-Akal JV from enforcing contract provisions that require workers to join the union or pay dues to keep their jobs.

In the Corpus Christi case, which involves SPFPA Local 727 and Asset Protection & Security Services, L.P., the attorney general is seeking to stop the employer from threatening to fire a security guard for not paying union dues.

According to Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, it is “a rare occurrence for the attorney general to be involved” in an employment law case.