Security guards to vote on forming union

    Security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art voted on Friday will vote whether or not to form their own union. There are 130 guards in the galleries and on the grounds of the museum. They work for Allied Barton, the largest security firm in the country.

    Security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art voted on Friday will vote whether or not to form their own union. There are 130 guards in the galleries and on the grounds of the museum. They work for Allied Barton, the largest security firm in the country.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091008pcunion.mp3]

    Security guards are, by law, a breed apart. An unusual quirk in labor law expressly denies security guards the right to vote themselves into a union that has workers from other professions. So the the museum guards are trying to form their own independent union.

    Fabricio Rodriquez directs the organization pushing for increased wages. The group has been asking the museum administration to put pressure on security guard employer Allied Barton. He says increasing the pay won’t cost the museum any more than it does now.

    Rodriquez: We know that Allied Barton is making a huge profit on that contract alone. In the short term, there’s not going to be an increased security bill. But down the line if we want to pay people family-sustaining wages are going to cost more.

    Rodriquez says the union could grow if it can attract Allied Barton guards at other institutions.

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