Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Support security officers striking today in Minn.

Today in Minneapolis. 
Two thousand SEIU security officers are striking today in Minneapolis over wages, benefits and part-time work. They're picketing in front of the Wells Fargo Center, a giant office building for a megabank bailed out by taxpayers like the security officers. 

Brother Brian Aldes, principal officer of Local 320 in Minneapolis, asks us to support them:
Our brothers and sisters at SEIU Local 26, part of the Change to Win Federation of which the Teamsters are affiliated, consist of 2,000 security officers in the Twin Cities who have contracts with some of the biggest corporations in Minnesota including Target Corp., US Bank, and Wells Fargo. On Friday, Feb 22, Local 26 and its employers found themselves at a contract impasse. The Union had previously authorized a strike on if a stalemate occurred. 
According to Local 26 Security Officer Paul Keith, “The security companies are choosing to have an adversarial relationship with us.” Local 26 has affirmed the impasse is over wages, healthcare benefits, and the status of part time work. 
“It’s beyond frustrating that these companies aren’t serious about negotiating a new contract,” said Fred Anthony II, a security officer who works at EcoLab in downtown St. Paul. “They walk away, saying they aren’t willing to meet again until mid-March. They can’t be serious if they’re only willing to meet once a month. We can’t keep dragging this out. We made it clear we would stay here as late as we needed, but they’ve just walked away.” 
You can support the strikers by signing the petition here.

SEIU tells us the workers have been without a contract since Dec. 31. One of the subcontractors, American Security, reached a tentative agreement with the security officers at 4 a.m. Six other subcontractors have not.  They are G4S, AlliedBarton, Securitas, Viking Security and ABM Security.

Kevin Chavis, a security officer subcontracted by AlliedBarton for Wells Fargo Center, said,
Going on strike is a huge sacrifice – none of us want to do this. But it feels like if we don’t act, there’s not going to be any middle class left. All Minnesotans need fair wages and affordable health care for our families. As a Minnesota company, American Security was able to step up and take care of Minnesotans – the others should follow their lead.