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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Texas Businesses Want Protesters Called Off

FORT WORTH (CN) - Owners of two uptown Dallas office buildings say a Texas labor union is paying homeless people who are not union members to picket the office towers. They claim the Texas Carpenters and Millwrights union is tortiously interfering with business, violating the Labor Code and intimidating people "by the unkempt appearance and boisterous conduct of the protestors."

The union's Regional Council claims that one of the office buildings' contractors hired a subcontractor that does not pay fair wages. But the plaintiffs say they have no relationship with the subcontractor, that there is no legitimate labor dispute, and that the union and its hired help are interfering with its tenants' peaceful enjoyment of the property. They claim the protests are illegal secondary picketing, accompanied by "threats amounting to extortion."

The Offices at 2525 McKinnon and the Koll Bren Fund V say the tenants, including a bank branch, have complained about the rowdy picketers at the 15-story Gateway Tower and the 8-story building known as The Offices at 2525 McKinnon.

Police arrested one rowdy picketer who had drugs on him, the plaintiffs say.

The building owners seek damages for disruption of business relations, and an injunction preventing the union from disturbing or blocking access to the towers.

They are represented by John D. Smart with the Winstead law office in Dallas.

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