Security guards in Philadelphia unionize

    A new unionization agreement affects more than 2,000 security guards at offices, attractions and institutions in Philadelphia with union officials promising higher wages and better benefits.

    The guards will be represented by the Service Employees International Union, which also represents custodial staff in the city’s office buildings.A formal announcement of the contracts is expected Wednesday.

    Union officials tell The Philadelphia Inquirer that four companies employing about 80 percent of the city’s security guards have agreed to virtually identical contracts with the union.

    The union says wages will increase from between $8 and $11 per hour to between $10.45 and $13 over the life of the contract that expires in 2016. Fulltime guards will also receive health benefits starting in 2014.

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