Security Guards Fight for a Contract in SF With Google

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Workers also protest poor working conditions, lack of respect

On June 6, nine officers and supporters were arrested after they sat in and blocked an intersection in downtown San Francisco at the height of the afternoon rush hour.

Police get ready to arrest demonstrators in the intersection at rush hour.

Police get ready to arrest demonstrators in the intersection at rush hour.

One guard, Jerry Longoria, said, “I live in a single room occupancy place. I have no kitchen, no bathroom, and the neighborhood is so bad I can’t even go out at night. People like me who work for a living should be able to afford at least a one-bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood.”

The union, Stand for Security, the security division of United Service Workers West, SEIU, said the new agreement made gains in wages, healthcare, paid sick days and job protections.

Meanwhile, in Mountain View, that same day security officers and supporters marched to the auditorium where the annual stockholders meeting of Google was being held. Two weeks later, the guards were back, this time with two busloads of participants from the Netroots Nation 2013 conference then taking place in San Jose.

Police get ready to arrest demonstrators in the intersection at rush hour.

Police get ready to arrest demonstrators in the intersection at rush hour.

The security union protested the fact that Google uses a non-union contractor, Security Industry Specialists (SIS), which maintains conditions that make it hard for its employees to survive. One common complaint is that the company won’t give each guard enough hours to survive, and calls its system “flex time.” Lack of hours keeps the guards from qualifying for benefits and sick days.

Guards cheer while their friends get arrested.

Guards cheer while their friends get arrested.

At Google guards demand more hours and treatment with respect.

At Google guards demand more hours and treatment with respect.