Abbott strong arms guards' union over border workers' contracts

By Rob Luke | Jul 25, 2007

AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott yesterday filed suits in two cities against the union covering security guards and companies supplying immigration and customs workers.

In both suits Abbott charged the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) with entering into "unlawful collective bargaining agreements" with suppliers. They required workers to join the SPFPA as an employment condition.

Abbott announced yesterday he had filed two suits - in Corpus Christi and El Paso - seeking injunctions against the SPFPA and suppliers over the contracts. The suits seek to prevent the two from enforcing the work agreement.

The action in Corpus Christi is against an agreement between SPFPA Local 727 and Asset Protection and Security Services (APSS). The El Paso injunction targets SPFPA Local 725 and Deco-Akal and affiliates.

APSS provides workers to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs' Los Fresnos Detention Facility at Bayview, near Corpus Christi. Deko-Akal staffs the Bureau's Service Processing Center in El Paso. They and SPFPA are charged with breaching the state's right-to-work laws.

"The law guarantees important right-to-work protections for Texas workers," Abbott stated. "Texans have the right to work without having to join a labor union or pay union dues."

Abbott's actions also seek civil penalties of $1,000 per violation plus reimbursement of employees for dues paid under the agreement.

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