Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

SEIU: We'll organize Phila college guards

Local 32BJ wants to organize 18,000 private security guards at Philadelphia colleges and other local institutions

SEIU: We'll organize Phila college guards

SEIU Local 32BJ, the Northeast janitors' union that claims 120,000 members, says it plans to organize private security officers at Philadelphia-area colleges, corporate headquarters and other institutions.

"Non-union officers in Philadelphia earn as little as $9 an hour without benefits, in contrast to their union counterparts in Washington, DC who receive a minimum salary of $13.45 an hour with employer-paid healthcare, and New York city officers who earn a minimum of $14.35 an hour" with healthcare, retirement and "paid leave," said union vice president Valarie Long in a statement timed to appear on Martin Luther King Day. She cited support for the effort from US Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., among others.

Guards at Temple and Penn last year approached the independent Philadelphia Security Officers' Union, which represents workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for help starting union campaigns. Long's union says there are an estimated 18,000 private security officers in the Philadelphia area, and the business is growing as cities like Camden and Philadelphia try to trim public police spending.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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