Last week Security Workers in San Francisco went on strike. Members of SEIU Local 24/7 (awesome name for a Local) have been fighting for a decent wage and healthcare, against a system that treats them without dignity or respect.
Security Workers in the Bay make $5 an hour less than janitors.
The strike has been dynamic and inspiring. The union has embraced a range of tactics, like flying squads, rotating pickets, marches, rallies, demonstrations, actions, fliers, postering etc, all coordinated to keep up energy and build momentum.
It has completely shaken up all of downtown San Francisco, and won public sympathy in the process.
And now we’re escalating.
I’ve been doing a bit of support work throughout the week last week and have been absolutely inspired by the determination and energy of SF security workers. The picketing and marching was fun, but didn’t compare to just getting to hang out with workers and hear their stories and hear folks talk about how they have never been involved in anything like this before, but that they are fighting for their kids and their families and they aren’t going to back down, even in the face of giant companies like Securitas, ABM, and Universal Protection Services. They’re fighting back against intimidation, harassment, racism and cycles of dead-end poverty-waged jobs that have high turnover rates, and ironically, very little security.
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So far victories in the campaign have included things like:
– The California Legislative Black Caucus held a hearing to examine corporate real estate’s role in condoning poverty among security officers and issued a report on the double standards that security officers in the Bay Area face every day.
– The Stand for Security Coalition, representing hundreds of elected officials, clergy, and organizations across the U.S. have called for justice for the security officers in the Bay Area
– The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Tuesday, Sept 25th calling on building owners and contractors to respect workers rights and end double standards.
– The Mayor of San Francisco, in a public statement on Monday called for a dispute resolution
– The San Francisco Labor Council sanctioned the unfair labor practice strike whereby 150 unaffiliated labor unions honored security officer picket lines throughout the financial district
– Hundreds of workers and community allies joined picket lines in striking buildings across the financial district for over 3 days
Striking workers have gone back to work, and are currently in negotiation for a contract. These companies have been demonstrating that they still aren’t serious about respecting their rights. This week there will be ongoing actions. Security workers and their allies have resolved to do whatever it takes to win this fight.
We will be meeting for actions on Tuesday Oct 2nd, at 1 Front St in San Francisco, at 6am, noon, and again at 4:30. Join us!