SEIU Local 2

SEIU Local 2

August 26, 2010 11:00 ET

SEIU Local 2: Students Back Call for Improved Security Standards by Securitas Officers

Securitas called on to respect international agreement and stop interfering with workers desire to form union in Halifax

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2010) - Students are backing security officers employed by Securitas who say improved standards are needed in Halifax. Elise Graham, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students in Nova Scotia, joined Securitas officers Michael Anthony and Simon Vigneault at a press conference today at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.

"For students and parents, safety is a primary concern," said Graham. "At the CFS we understand and appreciate the positives that arise from workers having a voice." CFS Nova Scotia believes unionized security officers will be better equipped to ensure the safety of students and the security of the spaces in which they work.

Halifax security officers are coming together in an effort to raise standards in their industry. The global private security industry is large and fast-growing. It is also plagued by high turnover, poor training, and lax oversight--all of which put the public as well as security officers at risk.

Having been employed in the security industry for over thirty years, Anthony believes high turnover presents a significant problem in the industry. "This revolving-door is a potential security liability," he said. "Officers who stay at a site understand their workplaces better and are better prepared to respond quickly and effectively when issues arise. But when there's a new guy working a site every other week, he never gets to know the site as well as he should."

Security officer Vigneault has been working for Securitas for over eight years. "I understand Securitas has made a commitment at an international level to respect our desire to come together to make improvements, but my fellow security officers and I received a letter from Securitas in Halifax dissuading us from forming a union," said Vigneault. He hopes that company's position locally will change.

Realizing that unions can help raise standards in the security industry, Securitas made an international commitment in its 2004 Code of Conduct and again in a 2006 global agreement to honor the freedom of security officers to form unions.

Employing over 260,000 people worldwide, Securitas is the second largest security company in the world and largest in Nova Scotia. Last year Securitas had $8.2 billion in sales and $278 million in profits worldwide. Meanwhile, Anthony, a thirty year veteran in the industry makes only $9.85 an hour.

"As a giant in the industry, Securitas has the responsibility to lead by example and set higher standards," said David Bush, a Service Employees International Union representative. "Higher standards will bring good jobs and more effective security to Halifax."

Investing in reliable union security services can have major benefits resulting in enhanced safety and protection for clients, as well as long-term savings for companies. Better quality jobs mean greater work satisfaction amongst security officers, resulting higher retention rates of experienced employees. Improved retention not only boosts security, but also provides cost- savings for companies by lowering recruitment and new employee training expenses. Constructive Employer/Union relations have also proven to have other benefits. Employer/Union training programs have resulted in higher performing security professionals and collective bargaining agreements can also provide harmonious labour relations, and peace of mind for tenants and the public alike.

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Stand for Security

We are 35,000 private security officers united in SEIU, North America's largest security officers union.

We protect property and people in facilities--including high-rise commercial buildings, banks, power plants, airports, warehouses, stadiums and the high-tech industry--all across North America.

Our goal is to raise our industry's standards by increasing professionalism and training, improving wages and benefits, and developing career opportunities for security officers.

The Service Employees International Union is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 100,000 workers in Canada and two million workers across Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

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