Clergy Bless Security Officer Picket Signs, California Elected Officials Call on Business Leaders to Avert Walkout

May 31, 2013, 10:00 ET from Service Employees International Union

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With a possible security officer strike looming in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, clergy in both regions blessed the officers' picket signs this week as elected officials called on California's wealthy business leaders to help avert a walkout.

"The sun is shining on our local economy," said David Chiu, San Francisco District 3 Supervisor, at a City Hall news conference Thursday. "Businesses are doing well and that's a good thing. But we need to make sure that people are able to put food on the table."

In Los Angeles, Jerome Horton, Chair of the CA Board of Equalization noted the important role security officers play in keeping us all safe. In light of California's improving economy, Horton agreed with security officers that it is time to make our communities have good jobs with affordable healthcare.  After six months of contract negotiations for 7,000 security officers represented by the Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West in the Bay Area and Los Angeles ground to halt without an agreement May 22, security officers have been preparing for a possible strike which may come as early as June 3.

"How our economy works and for the benefit of whom is very much a moral issue," Pastor BK Woodson of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice in the Bay Area said on Wednesday. "By standing up for good jobs with healthcare in California, these security officers are doing the Lord's work."

"It is empowering to have the backing of so many faith leaders in our community," said Warren Reed, a Los Angeles Security Officer. "Today's blessing helps give us strength as we prepare to fight for our families by standing up for good jobs with affordable healthcare."

Despite soaring profits for California's real estate industry, security officers are paid far less than needed to raise a family and lack quality affordable healthcare. Security contractors – particularly ABM Security and Universal Protection Service - are backing a plan with a high deductible, forcing most workers to pay for treatment out of their own pockets – effectively putting quality health care out of the reach of workers paid so little.

Security officers have set up a campaign fund ( to fuel their efforts to win justice and help rebuild the middle class.

Jacob Hay
(310) 855-2640

SOURCE Service Employees International Union