SecurAmerica, Detroit security guards at odds over effort to unionize

Security guards working in downtown Detroit walked off the job at Bedrock Buildings on Tuesday to protest threats of retaliation for coming together to fight for union rights and safety concerns.
The security guards of SecurAmerica took their fight for a union and better wages to the streets of downtown Detroit on Tuesday afternoon.

"We're calling for Bedrock to at least come to table and speak with us about conditions that we have here and the treatment of our workers," said Randall Pace.

Specifically, the protesters gathered outside of a building owned by Bedrock, Dan Gilbert's real estate company. Protesters marched to 1001 Woodward where Pace works as a security guard. 

"We need to have a voice to say that's 'hey, that's illegal' or 'hey, that's not right.' Let's go to the table and talk about this," he said.

SEIU, the union that these workers want to join, took part in the protest to advocate on behalf of the guards.

"SecurAmerica will not recognize us - they should. These workers want to union and they shouldn't be afraid of a union," said Tom Balanoff, president of SEIU Local 1.

This is not the first time security guards working for SecurAmerica have protested for a union. Last December, security guards used holiday greetings to let their company know that they want a strong voice to fight on their behalf.

On Tuesday, Fox 2 reached out to SecurAmerica about the workers ongoing fight for a union and they say since SecurAmerica took over as the security provider at these sites we have provided a fair and respectful working environment for our associates, opportunities for advancement, and a competitive wage and benefit package that includes substantial pay increases for our security officers who are now among the highest paid in Detroit - a minimum of $15 an hour. 

But the security guards say they want more and that means a unionized voice to protect them on the job.

"These workers come to work every day. They're adults, they're hard-working, and you know what, it's what I said up there: 'We're not going to bring Detroit back until we bring every community back," said Balanoff

The chief communications officer of Rock Ventures also issued a statement in response to the striking workers:

"Today's event was nothing more than a theatrical attempt to explicitly drag us into a labor dispute," said Aaron Walker. "To be clear, we have no role in this debate. Leveraging a well-known name for the sake of sensationalized press is disingenuous at best. The security guards that SEIU are targeting to unionize are employed by SecurAmerica. As we have repeatedly communicated to SEIU, the union needs to direct its efforts toward SecurAmerica."