Fabricio Rodriguez's blog


Workers Fearing for Their Lives and Jobs File for Union Recognition

On Friday, August 20th, security guards at the Norman Blumberg Apartments at 2311 W. Jefferson St. in North Philadelphia filed for a petition for a union election, saying that the attitude of Carl Greene, Director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, toward security and his impunity toward repeated controversies make them fear for their lives and safety.

“This weekend alone guards had to break up two violent altercations on the site,” claims Charles Mannings, lead organizer and employee for Scotland Yard Security, the security company contracted to protect the site.

“We have dealt with dozens incidents in the last year and many of these involved guns. Most of us don’t even have bullet proof vests because our employer, Garnett Littlepage, owner of Scotland Yard Security, makes us pay for them out of our own pocket,” further states Mannings.


I just returned from Phoenix where I flew in to help support the fight against Arizona State Bill 1070. I went as a part of the assistance team sent by Inter-Alliance Dialog.

During my ten days there I met the incredible leaders of Puente, the movement that is anchoring the fight back effort. Their organizing is steeped in indigenous religion and culture and their perspective is refreshingly different than any other immigrant rights group (in fact they more accurately call themselves "migrant workers" since they were here before there were borders to cross) I have ever worked with.

While there learning and working beside these folks, I also saw some scary racism including people who had put home made swastikas on their car doors and hateful slurs shouted at peaceful protests.

I return ready to fight to keep the hate out of our state and to do what I can to help my brothers and sisters in Arizona, defeat AZ SB 1070.

Timothy Rub (Museum) and AlliedBarton pose for awkward family photo, no union

Ronald Rabena, AlliedBarton Philadelphia Division President, sent a written response to Councilman Greenlee yesterday. The letter was in response to Councilman Greenlee's forwarding a letter that Timothy Rub (Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) wrote to Councilman Greenlee, expressing his wishes to the Councilman. Mr. Rub, wished that AlliedBarton would start negotiating with the Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU). Mr. Rub also wished that he would also get $2.6 in tax money for the museum.

It was almost a secret wish, sent only to Councilman Greenlee. Thankfully, Councilman Greenlee sent on Mr. Rub's wish to the people who can actually grant the wish, AlliedBarton.

Mr. Rabena, in his responce, denying the guards the right to begin bargaining at this time, states some interesting things.

When the PSOU won the election, AlliedBarton said "we look forward to working with the union." Then, a couple weeks later, they filed objections to the election.

Breaking: Rub May Push A 4 Year AlliedBarton Contract In The Next Few Days

I heard today that Timothy Rub is in talks with AlliedBarton to sign a deal through 2014.   To do so, in light of his fully discredited claim of "neutrality," and his demanding that we jump through every frivolous hoop that his buddies at AlliedBarton want us to jump through (AlliedBarton's $15,000 per year donation should purchase some loyalty, i guess), how can he possible sign a business deal with a company that WILL have a collective bargaining agreement.

If Mr. Rub is actually neutral (despite multiple reports of him heckling security guards, senior citizens and college students, what a bully!), how can he possibly award AlliedBarton a long term contract before the NRLB finds against the union or, when the NRLB upholds their own findings, the company and the union have settled their contract agreement?  Where are his lawyers telling him that this would be a dumb move?

Museum's Platitudes Shrivel In The Light Of Day

Just a quick post on the Museum's budget request hearing today. I have a big foundation deadline tomorrow and it's gonna be tight, but I wanted to be sure to give you the highlights.

Councilman Goode was the real show stopper today. He asked a lot of tough questions.

FROM www.ThatFinalStraw.com

His line of questioning began by a reference to the Philadelphia Minimum Wage ordinance, a bill that he crafted and passed. The legislation states (roughly) that city related agencies, or institutions that get money from the city and that have 35 employees or more, have to pay 150% of state or federal minimum wage, depending on what is higher ($10.87/hour vs AlliedBartons $9.54 and $10.03). The ordinance also mandates the employer to provide the same benefits package to employees as that of the lowest paid full time employee. This provision applies to sub-contracted labor as well.

Will Timothy Rub Put His Foot Down? AlliedBarton, Meet The Union Or Hit The Road

Join us to make sure that Timothy Rub means what he said!
What is the museum prepared to do when AlliedBarton tells them that they will not respect the voice of their workers.

What: Rally
Where: City Hall, NE Corner (bring ID)
When: Today! April 12, 1:30

At a budget hearing on Monday the Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU) will demonstrate to find out if Museum Director, Timothy Rub will declare his intention to end his contract with the security company, AlliedBarton, if the company does not recognize their union.

The rally happens a week after Mr. Rub declared his support for the union. City Councilors plan to clarify what the statement meant.

The activists have been raising concerns around $2.3 million allocated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) in Mayor Nutter’s 2011 budget proposal.

The Museum Urges AlliedBarton To Negotiate With The Union, Activist Rally At Budget Hearing

Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) Director Timothy Rub had remained neutral in the unionizing effort of AlliedBarton security services guards posted at the Museum. Yesterday, however, union activists who were lobbying members of Philadelphia City Council were surprised and excited to find out that Museum leadership had declared its support for the union in a written statement to City Councilman At-Large, William K. Greenlee.

“We were making the rounds and were getting a lot of positive feedback when Councilman Greenlee caught us in the hallway and showed us the letter,” said Walter Lunsford, AlliedBarton employee and activist in the independent Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU).

“We couldn't believe it. We look forward to working with Mr. Rub to improve museum security and working conditions,” Lunsford said.

No Money Unless The Museum Recognizes The Workers Voice

I an exerpt my post last week on www.ThatFinalStraw.com...

These are tough days for all of Philadelphia. 

Working people will bear the brunt of these cutbacks, which may include paying for their trash collection, extra taxes on sugared beverages, and staffing shortages at libraries and public pools.

Philadelphia is a generous city.  Even during this decline, our city leaders continue to support the Philadelphia Museum of Art abundantly. 

Of the mayor's proposed budget matches our support in all areas related to the museum from our support in 2008, we will contribute to the museum five buildings and land worth $171 million, $3.4 million for the museum's electricity, and a further $2.3 million of our tax money as a direct contribution.

The museum is, by far, our city's most supported non-profit institution garnering a staggering $176.5 million in tax payer resources.

Philadelphia loves our museum.

However, we are a working city and we love our workers too. 

Guards state that 60% of the work force is inadequately prepared to protect the museum

For more than 2 years the Philadelphia Security Officers Union has been trying to improve the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their calls for improved training, safety, worker retention, better wages and benefits have been ignored.

Today, due to all that is at risk, the museum guards broke their silence about the training deficiencies during a press conference on the "Rocky Step (read the KYW report here)."

Support the Philadelphia Security Officers Union in their "Program To Change The Museum" by signing this petition to City Council.

JwJ Reschedules Museum Rally for Feb 25

Please note, the What Would Picasso Say rally is rescheduled until February 25 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West door (by Fairmont Park)

Museum CEO, Tim Rub Ignores Union and Safety Risks

For years now, Jobs with Justice has been working with security guards in Philadelphia to professionalize this industry.

There are 16,000 security guards in our city. These jobs are among the most deadly in our city. In fact, only police officers are more often murdered on the job during violent incidents.

Despite that fact, security guards tend to earn poverty wages, lack access to quality health care and have few opportunities to career advancement. The guards that protect our city’s most precious cultural treasures earn a median income of $16,000 per year.

That’s why when security guards in our city reached out to Jobs with Justice wanting to fight to improve their lives and safety at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we were excited to get involved.

The union is has a program to improve some pressing safety issues at the museum. Why, then, is Timothy Rub preventing these urgent safety upgrades?

Read more after the jump or at www.ThatFinalStraw.com

NRLB Overrules AlliedBarton: PSOU

January 5, 2010 update on Jobs with Justice and the Security Guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

After two years of struggle at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Jobs with Justice (JwJ) and the security guards at the museum filed for union recognition this past September. On October 10, 2009, they won their election, thus forming the Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU).

This historic victory is a testament to hundreds of hours of volunteer work, the strategic campaign run by JwJ, the support of Philadelphians, and the dedication and fearlessness of the security guards who stood up for their rights on the job.

AlliedBarton, the security company outsourced by the Museum of Art that employs the guards, contested the election, and the month of December was spent waiting for a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).


Workers Regain Collective Bargaining Rights After 17 Years

The two year effort to form an independent labor union for the AlliedBarton security guards at the world famous Philadelphia Museum of Art finally resulted in a victory for the union this weekend. The formerly unionized guards lost their union in 1992 when the jobs were privatized by then Mayor Ed Rendell.

“It is hard for any group of workers to join a union,” says Cecelia Lynch, museum guard and union activist.

“But we knew that it was the only hope that we had to fix the problems that we faced on the job.” Further states Lynch.

It is rare and difficult for a group of workers to form their own union.

The newly formed Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU) was created by guards from around the city and by the community organization Jobs with Justice over a two year period.

“We hope that AlliedBarton will now work with us to agree on a fair contract in a reasonable amount of time.” Says Fabricio Rodriguez, Executive Director of Jobs with Justice.

The union provides some hope to a growing segment of Philadelphia’s workforce, private security guards, which currently lack union representation and have few opportunities to join a union. There are an estimated 10,000 private security guard in the Philadelphia region.

Security guards are prevented from joining most labor unions due to the Section 9 (B) 3 of the National Labor Relations Act.

This clause of the National Labor Relations Act states that security guards must join “security guard only unions,” of which there are few.

Syndicate content