Dozens of security officers employed by Harvard Protective Services and their supporters rallied outside a waterfront luxury building at 90 Hudson Street in Jersey City to protect their right to organize free of coercion.
Workers protested Harvard’s unlawful threats to fire them for discussing the union. 32BJ filed an unfair labor practice charge today against Harvard Protective Services in Philadelphia after management issued a memo to security officers threatening to fire them “on the spot” if they were talking about the union on company property.
Security officers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are currently organizing for better wages, benefits, training, and respect from their employers. “Harvard provides me and my coworkers with insufficient training to handle the many and varied day-to-day problems that may arise on the job,” said Jonathan Rodriguez, a security officer at 90 Hudson Street in Jersey City. “Yet, it is my duty to make sure all building tenants are as safe as possible. Because of the nature of our jobs, it is essential that security officers are able to provide the best security available for the public. But we must also be able to provide security for our families.”
Rodriguez, a security officer with Harvard Protective Services since 2007, is father to a three year-old son and wishes to provide him with affordable family health insurance. While he has a second job as a substitute teacher, neither job offers him affordable health insurance benefits.
A recent 32BJ report released with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, entitled Raising Standards, Improving Communities: New Jersey’s Security Officers Uniting for Good Jobs and a Brighter Future, delineates the current state of the New Jersey private security industry as well as the steps to raise standards for training, wages and benefits, including details on how New Jersey’s economy will benefit. Jersey City is already on a path to setting a good industry standard with the passage of the Standard Wage Law. However, it only applies to employees of city-owned or leased buildings, as well as new buildings receiving city subsidies.
Harvard’s illegal threats are intended to interfere with workers organizing against poverty wages.
With more than 125,000 members, including 15,000 private security officers, 32BJ is the largest security officers union in the country.