Stand for Security

 

Tell the Academy that Income Inequality is Tearing Apart Our Communities.

Oscar Should Go Union—For Security Officers Too
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Nearly everybody attending the 86th Academy Awards this weekend—directors, actors, writers, and technicians of all kinds—has a union. This means that these workers get to keep more of the enormous profits they create.

But the security officers protecting the Oscars don’t have a union. They, and their counterparts elsewhere, should.

The officers work for Culver City-based Security Industry Specialists (SIS), the fifteenth-largest security company in the United States. Their wealthy clients include the Motion Picture Association of America, Apple, EBay, and Amazon. When SIS took over security duties at Amazon in July 2012, the company ignored the customary security industry practice of retaining officers, promptly firing more than 200 union officers who had full-time work, regular raises, healthcare (up to 95 percent employer-paid), and paid time off, including up to five sick days, eight holidays, one or two weeks of vacation, and one personal day per year.

Despite a competitive hourly wage, most SIS officers are only part-time, forcing them to work two or three jobs or rely on taxpayers and charity to make ends meet. Employees also lost access to their grievance procedure, denying these critical first responders a meaningful voice on the job.

Here are a few of the SIS officers’ stories:

  • Daivon Young, an SIS officer at Amazon, is a new father who must rely on the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Although paid $15.50 per hour, Young and his wife are unsure how they will provide childcare, education, and healthcare for their child.
  • Manny Cardenas, a former SIS officer in Silicon Valley and a young father, was the subject of a National Public Radio exposé that revealed he relied on his mother for housing and occasionally had to visit a food pantry, Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose, for nourishment.

 

Having a union will empower SIS officers to solve problems they face on—and off—the job. Good union jobs help fight income inequality and bring money into minority and working-class communities, where security officers live. But many officers report SIS actively discourages officers from forming a union through anti-union videos and other materials. They need your support.

Tell the Academy that Security Officers at SIS Should Have the Freedom to Form a Union.

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