ACTIVISTS WIN $1.5 MILLION WAGE AND BENEFIT INCREASE FROM TEMPLE AND PENN
Jobs with Justice Press Release:
Activists Plan More Efforts To Reform Industry, Local Company Will Remain Target
Philadelphia, PA, January 28, 2008 -- A year long campaign to raise wages and benefits for security officers at Philadelphia’s two largest universities has finally paid off. The Philadelphia Officers and Workers Rising Campaign (POWR) an effort of a coalition of students, community activists and faith leaders will bring at least $1.5 million in additional income to workers. The new contracts include up to 3 days sick-leave on both campuses and raises for roving security guards at UPenn from $9.70 to $15 per hour.
“We started to fight for these improvements for our own safety.” Says Kevin Paris, a junior at Temple University. “I know that guards were forced to come to work ill and injured. No one should work like that much less guards. It is a public safety issue”
The activists from the local group, Jobs with Justice, focused on paid sick-leave as the first step in a series of improvements that workers and their advocates want to win on behalf of security guards.
“We see this as a civil rights issue.” Says Bishop Dwayne Royster, Pastor from Living Waters UCC in North Philadelphia, “It is the largest effort to raise African-American workers into the middle-class in our city’s history.”
97% of the private security guards in Philadelphia are African-American.
“We want to turn these jobs into family sustaining jobs.” explained Eduardo Soriano, Organizer for Jobs with Justice, “We want to professionalize the industry, raise the standards, that’s why we are focusing on AlliedBarton.”
AlliedBarton is the largest security company in Philadelphia and largest domestic security company. AlliedBarton’s largest shareholder is MacAndrews & Forbes. MacAndrews and Forbes is wholly owned by Philadelphia native, Ronald O. Perelman.
Workers and advocates plan to continue to push for improvements on both campuses but say that they are expanding their focus to other large AlliedBarton customers around the city.
Jobs with Justice is a coalition of labor unions, community groups, student and religious constituent organizations building a movement for workers’ rights and social and economic justice. We ate united by the principles of solidarity, reciprocity, militancy and action. Jobs with Justice is dedicated to using direct action to win victories that matter for working people.