The union representing about 200 security officers who protect federal buildings in North Texas went on strike Tuesday, forcing officials to scramble to make other security arrangements.
The officers, members of the United Government Security Officers of America union, work for Paragon Sytems Inc., a government contractor based in Reston, Virginia.
Union members set up a picket line in front of the main federal courthouse in downtown Dallas.
The company did not immediately return a call for comment.
Eric McMillen, international vice president, said the dispute is over work rules and not money.
“We didn’t even ask for a raise,” he said. “It’s about the way they treat the employees.”
McMillen said the strike forced some government offices to delay opening and an immigration swearing-in ceremony to be canceled.
It appeared both sides remained far apart and the strike showed no signs of being resolved.
“We’ll be here all night and all day tomorrow,” McMillen said.
Late Tuesday, he said the company was ordering employees to turn in their company-owned firearms or they would be reported stolen.
"They've begun to threaten the employees," he said.