Bay Area security officers begin weeklong strike
Demanding a fair wage increase and healthcare benefits,
SEIU Local 24/7 union members began a weeklong strike
in downtown San Francisco yesterday.
Photos by John
September 25, 2007
Security officers' union SEIU Local 24/7 began a weeklong strike
in downtown San Francisco yesterday to protest what they say are
unfair labor practices.
The union is demanding a fair wage increase and healthcare benefits.
Organizers from across the country and local elected officials
joined the strikers in support of the union action.
"I've come down here to support my brothers and sisters
here in San Francisco who are being treated unfairly," said
Donald Killings, a union organizer from New York. "I feel
they need a better contract."
The union's contract with private security companies expired
in June. Negotiations for a new contract have so far failed to
produce a new agreement.
San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano attended the rally.
Security officers in the Bay Area have historically been the
lowest paid property services workers in the industry, earning
five dollars less per hour than janitors.
Many work two, and sometimes three jobs, to make ends meet.
"We deserve to not have to work multiple jobs," said
Oakland resident Gwen Williams, a security guard working for Universal
Protection Services in San Francisco. "We need to spend time
with our families and we need the wages to meet our financial
Gwen Williams, SEIU 24/7 security officer.
Oakland Assemblymember Sandre Swanson said the union's demand
for a fair wage increase and health benefits is an issue of "basic
"Why should the case be that if you arrest someone and they
go to jail, they have better healthcare than you?" Swanson
appealed. "That's hypocrisy, and we have to correct that."
California Assemblymember Sandre Swanson
According to SEIU spokesperson Gina Bowers, there are up to fourteen
buildings in San Francisco's Financial district where union security
officers had gone on strike.
Bowers said other unions are honoring the picket line including
janitors, window cleaners and construction workers.
"This morning there were guys in hard hats and helmets that
came up, saw the picket lines and turned around and left,"
She said the real issue is recognizing that security officers
are being left behind.
"It's not good for anyone in our community if there's people
that work full-time and they still can't make ends meet,"
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on
a resolution later today in support of the SEIU 24/7 union demands.