On an otherwise quiet day of finals, loud chants of fed-up patrol officers pierced the air.
“What do we want?” an organizer asked.
“A contract,” AlliedBarton guards replied.
“When do we want it?”
About 20 PennWalk and Penn Park officers, members of the Philadelphia Security Officers Union, gathered in front of Penn President Amy Gutmann’s house on Walnut Street around 11 a.m. on Friday to protest the negotiation delays between AlliedBarton and the PSOU.
“We’re hoping to speed up the process,” patrol officer Chris Santosusso said. “After a good start, [AlliedBarton] is beginning to drag its feet.” He added, “In the meantime, workers are suffering.”
AlliedBarton security guards initially voted to unionize on April 11. Since then, the PSOU has been in negotiations with AlliedBarton. Members of the PSOU hope that once a contract is signed, working conditions will improve.
Santosusso said the negotiation delays are “keeping us from accomplishing our goals of a fair and just working environment, with proper treatment and proper equipment.”
The organizations have met only three times in the past six months, according to patrol officer Terrell Rivers. This has left frustrated workers asking questions to their employer and pleading with Gutmann.
“We need your help,” they cried, addressing Gutmann, who was not present. They also shouted from outside her office, after marching from her house to College Hall.
The security guards warned against becoming discouraged. “It’s going to be a long fight,” one said.
Another union, the Service Employees International Union, has also been in talks with AlliedBarton, but Santosusso said they have not been much help.
“[The SEIU] is not allowed to represent security guards without the permission of employers,” he said. “They negotiate without our input, on our behalf, through agents.”
Rivers said the patrol officers organized the protest to do anything they could to expedite the signing of a contract.
“We’ve been having a lot of delays,” he said. “We just want a fair opportunity. We want to be treated with respect.”Comments powered by Disqus
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