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Labor group levels charges of union busting against Muslim rights organization

The nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization has been hit with charges of union busting amid a row with a labor union attempting to organize its Washington, D.C., staff.

The Maryland-based Service Employees International Union Local 500 filed a charge of unfair labor practices against the Council on American-Islamic Relations — alleging that the Islamic civil rights group denied union organizers access to the workplace, made threatening and coercive statements to workers ahead of a planned organizing vote and fired at least three employees for attempting to organize workers.

The charges — which delayed the scheduled Monday workplace organizing vote by CAIR’s staff scheduled — were filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the United States main federal labor law enforcement agency. The filings were posted on the NLRB’s website, but the actual complaint from the SEIU Local 500 has not been made public.

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A spokesman for SEIU Local 500 told Fox News that the filing and the delay of the vote on Monday was necessary because of the atmosphere of “intimidation and fear” at CAIR.

“The vote was postponed because there is so much union busting going on over there that it is impossible to have a fair election,” said  SEIU Local 500 spokesman Christopher Honey. “The whole things seems totally antithetical to what they do with their work at CAIR.”

In a statement provided to Fox News, CAIR called the charges leveled against the organization “meritless” and said it “strongly supports the organized labor movement.” The communications director at CAIRIbrahim Hooper, did not answer Fox News’ question of whether or not the organization supported its own workers unionizing and instead referred back to CAIR’s statement.

“CAIR has remained neutral throughout this process and respects the free choice of employees,” the statement said. “We look forward to the election going forward as soon as possible.”

CAIR was formed in 1994 under the auspices of working to promote social, legal and political activism among Muslims in America. Over the years the group has had to fend off numerous charges that it is pursuing an Islamist agenda.

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