April 25, 2007 15:16 ET

SEIU: Wackenhut/G4S Blocking Largest Movement of African American Workers in History

Security Officers Demonstrate at Statue of Liberty, Bank of America Locations in National Day of Action Against Wackenhut/G4S' Alleged Discriminatory Policies

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 25, 2007 -- Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is North America's largest security officers union, working to raise standards in the private security industry and is concerned about Wackenhut/G4S' disturbing security record. Wackenhut/G4S, a London-based corporation, is an outlier in an industry-wide effort to improve standards and public safety in America's largest cities. The following represents the view of SEIU.

Security officers demonstrated today against Wackenhut/G4S' alleged discriminatory policies in Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles at Wackenhut/G4S-guarded sites such as Bank of America locations and the Statue of Liberty.

A cooperative, nationwide effort among corporate building owners, security companies and security officers promises to raise standards and bring more than 50,000 mostly African American workers out of poverty with higher wages and access to affordable health care for private security officers united in SEIU.

"Wackenhut is standing in the way of safer buildings and stronger communities," said Valarie Long, SEIU Property Services Director.

Wackenhut/G4S is under investigation for fraud; cheating on a security drill; falsifying training records; and systematically violating weapons inventory and handling policies at nuclear weapons facilities, according to Department of Energy Inspector General reports. Wackenhut/G4S has agreed to several settlements in cases alleging sexual harassment, sex discrimination and racial discrimination, according to court filings. Wackenhut has retaliated against whistleblowers according to a National Labor Relations Board decision. Wackenhut employees have also allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with inmates at juvenile detention centers, according to press reports.

In addition to a national contract with Bank of America, Wackenhut holds contracts with multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. Highly sensitive sites currently guarded by Wackenhut include nuclear weapons labs and ammunitions plants.

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