Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miami Beach Security Contractor Threatens Workers

Received this press release from Eugenio H. Villasante who's the Communications Manager for the Service Employees International Union.


Miami Beach, Fl –The City of Miami Beach’s security contractor has been charged with intimidating workers for exercising their rights to organize, and threatening them with discharge for their legal union activities. The charge, filed by 32BJ SEIU – the largest property service workers union in the country -- is against Security Alliance of Florida, Inc. which employs 75 security officers in public spaces and buildings at the City of Miami Beach who earn as little as $10 an hour with no access to affordable and quality healthcare.

“Interrogating and threatening low-wage workers for trying to improve their life is shameful, especially in midst of this economic crisis,” said Eric Brakken, 32BJ SEIU Florida Director. “This type of worker abuse is what the Employee Free Choice Act, if passed by Congress, would stop.”

“Security Alliance is not playing fair,” said Jean Baptiste, a security officer who has been working for Security Alliance for the last 3 years. “They will have to hear our voices, most of us want a union, we have rights and they cannot intimidate us.”

According to Cornell University, 90% of private sector employers resist their employees’ efforts to unionize during the election process, and a quarter illegally fire union supporters. The Employee Free Choice Act would stop management abuse by restoring to workers the right to unionize through majority sign up, rather than allowing management to dictate the process. Union workers earn 30 percent more than nonunion workers and are 60 percent more likely to have employer-paid health insurance.

With more than 100,000 members in nine states, including Florida, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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