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News

Negotiations fail in Oakland guarding talks

Securitas : 08 July, 2009  (Company News)
Securitas has blamed union leaders for misrepresentation leading to failure in contract negotiations for sensitive guarding project in California
Union leaders representing security officers guarding Kaiser Hospitals in Oakland and throughout California have rejected a contract offer that currently applies to thousands of union members and are distorting the facts after months of contract talks.

"Union leaders have claimed there have been cuts in healthcare benefits for security officers at Kaiser medical centers," said Sam Singer, a spokesman for Securitas Security Services USA, which employs 1800 security officers at Kaiser facilities in five states. "That is a deliberate falsehood. Securitas USA has sought to apply a contract that currently covers thousands of union-member security guards to the personnel working at Kaiser facilities. For union leaders to suggest that this contract offer is unfair, after they praised it as a model labor agreement in 2007, is the height of hypocrisy."

Securitas USA was hired to staff security at Kaiser Hospitals in February. Security officers working at the healthcare facilities were not operating under a union contract at the time. But Securitas USA agreed to bargain in good faith with the Service Employees International Union.

Prior to Securitas USA, security officers had been working for InterCon without a collective bargaining agreement for 15 years. Securitas USA is working to finalize a labor agreement with these officers which will be on par with a contract signed in 2007 in San Francisco that remains one of the most generous collective bargaining agreements in the country.

"Technically, and under agreement with SEIU, Securitas USA was under no obligation to bargain with the union at this time because these security officers were not under a union contract to begin with," said Mr. Singer. "However, Securitas USA is prepared to offer a contract that provides very generous health insurance, including coverage for dependents, and a salary package similar to what security officers in San Francisco earn."

Security companies, including Securitas USA, and union leaders reached a contract agreement for more than 4,000 security officers in November 2007. The agreement, announced at San Francisco City Hall, was praised by Mayor Gavin Newsom as giving "dignity to the work that is being done by the security officers." Mayor Newsom also suggested the contract would serve as a model for other labor agreements around the country.

At the time, Mike Garcia, the vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1877, noted that the contract was approved unanimously by a union bargaining committee and "goes a long way to lift hard-working security officers out of poverty."

Securitas USA had sought to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement with the union representing security guards working at Kaiser Hospitals. "We regret that union leaders did not come to the bargaining table prepared to reach consensus," said Mr Singer. "In this economy, when millions of Americans have lost jobs, seen their pay cut and are working without healthcare, this contract offer is fair and will keep security guards working where they are needed."

Securitas USA is the nation's largest and most locally-focused security company in the United States, with over 450 local branch managers and more than 100,000 security officers who provide unmatched security solutions to meet the specific needs of thousands of businesses.
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