A fight has broken out between the nation's most prominent Muslim advocacy group and the labor union attempting to organize its Washington staff.

Service Employees International Union Local 500 said in filings Wednesday that the Council on American-Islamic Relations was trying to bust its effort to organize the civil rights group's staff. CAIR responded with a statement Thursday calling the charge "meritless." The conflict comes just days before a scheduled April 24 workplace organizing vote by CAIR's staff.

Maryland-based SEIU Local 500 filed the unfair practices charges against the Muslim advocacy group with the National Labor Relations Board, the main federal labor law enforcement agency. The union said, among other charges, that it was denied access to the workplace and said CAIR's officers made coercive statements to workers regarding the election and discharged at least one for organizing. The filings were posted on the labor board's website, though the actual complaints are not public.

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