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LA Security Guards to Unionize?

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In a town known for its rent-a-cops, private bodyguards, and windbreaker-sporting security at numerous events, if ever there was a good place to unionize its quazi-fuzz it'd be here.

Hell all you have to do is ride a bus during rush hour and you'll see all types of security guards with their polyester uniforms and ridiculous hats snoozing away on the Rapid. Many who are either very, let's say, healthy... or quite skinny. You'll see women, you'll see youngsters, you might even see an old dude or two. But they do their job and LA is safer and better behaved because of them.

Today the LA Times reports that the Service Employees International Union has sent out over 100 reps to help mobilize the approximately 6,000 security guards in LA.

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If they can collect about 3,500 cards, union officials said, they would be in a strong position to pressure security companies and building owners to quickly recognize a security officers' union. The service employees union and other unions prefer this strategy to the often costly and time-consuming step of holding a formal election. "The purpose of this push is to call the question," said Jono Shaffer, a service employees union official who is running the Los Angeles campaign. "If we can demonstrate that a clear majority want a union, then let's bargain. I think this will reverberate."

The service employees union is launching the campaign in part to build on momentum from an agreement the union announced in April with downtown Los Angeles' biggest commercial property owner, Robert F. Maguire III, that allows guards in his buildings to unionize.

photo by WadeB via Flickr