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News :: Labor
UGSOA-Court Halts UGSOA Union Officials’ Attempt to Undermine Florida’s Right to Work Law.
29 Sep 2006
Union hierarchy unlawfully threatened to have Tampa Federal Courthouse security officers fired for refusal to pay union dues
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Tampa, FL (September 11, 2006) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, five nonunion security officers employed at the Tampa Federal Courthouse won a lawsuit in state court this week against security union officials who illegally threatened to have them fired for refusing to join or financially support the union.

The ruling slows a statewide scheme by union officials to force employees at federal buildings into union ranks against their will.

Fred Bohlig and four coworkers filed the suit in the Circuit Court of Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in November 2003 against the union after United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) union Local 132 officials attempted to circumvent Florida’s Right to Work law. The highly popular law protects employees from being forced to join or pay dues to an unwanted union.

“This victory is an incremental yet important step towards protecting employee freedom in the Sunshine State,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “With these bully tactics, it’s obvious that the union hierarchy is more concerned with milking workers for forced union dues than supposedly ‘representing’ them.”

As part of an effort to pressure nonunion workers into paying dues, UGSOA union officials posted a notice at the Tampa Federal Courthouse in October 2003 threatening that all security officers would lose their jobs unless they agreed either to join the union or pay dues.

The notice falsely claimed the security officers worked on federal property and are not protected by Florida’s Right to Work law – and thus could be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Although it is true workers employed at some federal installations cannot be protected by a state Right to Work law, the court agreed with Foundation attorneys that the Tampa Federal Courthouse does not qualify as such a location.

The unlawful threats are part of an emerging trend under which union officials seek to bypass Right to Work laws – an unfortunate growing pattern the Foundation is battling both in Florida and nationwide. In another recent Foundation case in Florida, four nonunion employees at a federal detention facility in Miami recently hit the Teamsters Local 769 union with a similar lawsuit for illegally ordering them to pay union dues or face termination.

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, is assisting over 250,000 employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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