Penn AlliedBarton guards continue negotiations


AlliedBarton security guards voted to join the Philadelphia Security Officers Union on April 11


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Last spring, Penn AlliedBarton security officers held demonstrations on campus to gather community support in fighting for better worker rights.

Photo by Henry Chang


Penn’s AlliedBarton employees are inching closer to signing the contract that would give them more rights.

On April 11, AlliedBarton security guards voted to join the Philadelphia Security Officers Union by an overwhelming majority of 72-2.

Although it’s been over seven months since the vote, members of PSOU are still negotiating new contract details with AlliedBarton to help improve labor conditions for the guards, such as getting more employee vacation and sick time.

According to Curtis Parker, a PSOU board member who has worked as an AlliedBarton security officer at Penn for over two years, the non-financial aspects of the contract have been negotiated.

Parker said negotiations are “going well,” but he currently has no expectation of when the process will be completed. He said the contract will hopefully be signed by the end of 2012, “but we don’t know. It all depends on how the next negotiations go.”

PSOU organizer Fabricio Rodriguez also said it was impossible to know when the contract will be signed, but he hopes it will be within the next month.

AlliedBarton spokesperson Larry Rubin could not provide comment as of press time.

Du Bois College House Dean Patricia Williams said she has personally noticed instances where AlliedBarton employees have lacked sufficient time off in work breaks and full days.

“Lack of time is really an important issue,” she said. “From a humane perspective, the unionization will be a good thing.”

AlliedBarton security patrol officer Julian Collins said employees receive 30 minutes for lunch and cannot leave their posts until they are relieved by another officer, unless it is an emergency. However, Collins added that he is satisfied with the current working conditions.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, “In a union workplace, the employer and union are obligated by law to bargain in good faith with each other over terms and conditions of employment, either to agreement or impasse.”

AlliedBarton officers initially approached the PSOU in February and began raising awareness of their unionization efforts across campus in a series of demonstrations.

Rodriguez said PSOU is already “saving their jobs,” despite the ongoing negotiations.

“Now we have the power to intervene if somebody is getting disciplined,” he added. “[The union] has to determine if it’s legitimate.”

Parker said in the past few months, he has seen some improvement in working conditions. He could not disclose further information about labor conditions until everything is signed.

“Whenever the contract goes into effect,” Rodriguez said, the security guards will see a change either immediately or within a short period of time.

An earlier version of the story inaccurately reported that financial aspects of the contract have been negotiated. The DP regrets this error.

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