AlliedBarton officers continue securing support to unionize
The officers will vote on whether to unionize in April
March 29, 2012, 8:16 pm · Updated April 2, 2012, 2:43 am·
Lin Zheng | DP
Seven Penn AlliedBarton security officers gathered at the Button yesterday in their third rally to garner support in their fight for better worker rights.
About 20 students and community members, including members from the Student Labor Action Project, came out in support. SLAP also began circulating a petition to support the officers in their efforts to unionize.
The guards took turns speaking from a megaphone. They held signs listing their demands — more sicks days, personal days, adequate equipment and adequate health insurance.
They also chanted in call and response, “When worker rights are under attack, what do we do?”
“Stand up, fight back.”
On April 11, all PennWalk officers and officers patroling Penn Park, who are employed by AlliedBarton, will vote on whether to be a part of the Philadelphia Security Officers Union, an independent union for security guards in the area.
The guards also held a rally on March 15 and on March 1, in conjunction with the walkout for education.
There are 11 AlliedBarton security officers on the union organizing committee leading the charge. They plan to hold another public rally on April 9. In the meantime, the officers are using social media and news outlets to spread their cause.
Rob Gurnee, executive director of the Christian Association attended yesterday’s rally and said he supports the officers petitioning for their rights. “My hope is that there is a fair hearing of grievances,” adding that he also commends SLAP for its perseverance in helping the officers.
College junior and SLAP coordinator Meghna Chandra said the student group is standing in solidarity with the AlliedBarton officers. SLAP’s petition hopes to raise awareness of the issue among the student body.
“At the negotiating table, if [the officers] can present a list of a lot of students, that would help their argument,” said College senior Ellie Dugan, a member of SLAP.