Philadelphia University Security Officers Rally for Better Wages and Working Conditions
PhilaU security officers and supporters rallied Tuesday at SchoolHouse Lane and Henry Ave. to demand better wages and working conditions from their employer, McGinn Security.
“When McGinn took over at PhilaU, we all got a $3 per hour pay cut. Now I struggle to pay my bills and have a difficult time finding people to watch my son because I can no longer afford childcare,” said security officer Erica Cody. “I am speaking out today for my future and my son’s future.”
In the fall of 2012, PhilaU switched from a responsible security contractor to McGinn Security. Despite past citations from the Department of Labor for failing to pay workers the minimum wage, McGinn continues to mistreat the 50 security officers that they employ at PhilaU.
Already struggling with a pay cut, Cody was tragically made a single mother two months ago when her boy-friend passed away. After his death Erica asked to take off a shift to care for her sick son. McGinn Security, her non-union employer, said no and instead disciplined her.
“My pay was held until I traveled across town to sign off on my write-up notice. I felt humiliated,” added Cody.
Cody is one of many security officers at PhilaU who feel underappreciated. Prior to the rally, a delegation of security officers attempted to deliver a petition to a PhilaU site supervisor demanding, “better pay, benefits and the respect we deserve.”
McGinn Security undermines area standards, paying officers in Philadelphia as little as $7.50 an hour, leaving officers and their families in poverty. PhilaU is one of the only universities in Philadelphia using an irresponsible contractor that does not respect officers’ rights.
“We perform an important job at PhilaU,” said Josette Bates, overnight security officer at PhilaU. “We are the first line of defense for these students. We just want to be treated fairly.”