ALBERT BALDEO SUPPORTS Congressman Rangel, Mayor Dinkins, Community Leaders and Clergy and Calls on Building Owners, Tenants and Business to Improve Private Security

Forum Kicks Off Campaign for Economic and Social Justice
for Security Officers

Impact of Low-wage Jobs on the African-American Community
to be Studied by CSS

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Rep. Charles Rangel, former Mayor David
Dinkins, leaders from the NAACP, ACORN and the clergy today called on building
owners, tenants and business to professionalize New York's private security
officers by raising wage, benefit and training standards. Nearly 200
community, religious and labor leaders came together at the CUNY Graduate
Center to highlight the industry's adverse economic impact on African-American
and minority communities and launch a city-wide community campaign to raise
standards for New York's security officers.
"Making New York safe and secure by improving private security is
everyone's responsibility," said former Mayor Dinkins. "Because we depend on
security officers to keep us safe and our buildings secure, they must be
trained in the latest, state-of-the-art security procedures and kept on the
job with a living wage."
More than 60,000 men and women in New York, mostly African-American, work
as private security officers. Although security officers serve on the front
lines of keeping our city safe, many of them earn less than $10/hr and receive
little, if any health care and inadequate security training.
"Providing security officers with living wages and job training overcomes
some of the hurdles that hold African-American men back from providing for
themselves and their families and contributing to their community," said David
Jones, President of the Community Service Society (CSS).
In support of the campaign for private security officers, Local 32BJ has
asked CSS to conduct a study on the plight of private security officers and
their impact on the African-American community. The study, to be released
early next year, will continue CSS's ground-breaking research on the adverse
impact of low-wage jobs on the African-American community.
In light of the 9/11 Commission's findings that "private sector civilians
are likely to be the first responders in any future catastrophes," U.S.
Representative Charles Rangel has called on Congress and the Bush
Administration to provide security officers with the specialized security
training they need.
"Private security officers are New York's first line of defense and an
integral part of our homeland security," said Rep. Charles Rangel. "It's
alarming that four years after 9/11 most private security officers have still
not received the specialized training they need to keep us safe and the pay
they deserve and need." According to the 9/11 Commission, 85% of our nation's
critical infrastructure is controlled by the private sector.
In February, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People passed a resolution supporting the Service Employees International
Union's efforts to organize security officers and encouraging state and local
chapters to "challenge security companies, building owners, and others who
"As the nation's largest civil rights organization and leading advocates
for equal opportunity, the NAACP calls on the real estate industry to provide
living wages and affordable health care to the security officers that keep
their buildings safe," said Hazel Dukes, President of the New York State
NAACP. "Any responsible advocate for the African-American community should
strongly support the campaign for private security officers."
"We put our lives on the line every day to protect millions of people and
billions in real estate," said James Barnes, a security officer employed by
Elite Investigations. "In my eight years as a security officer, including
service on 9/11 and the Power Blackout, I have seen little improvement in my
wages, benefits and training. Since 9/11, I have received no additional
In an open letter to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the group
called on REBNY President Steven Spinola to sign a declaration in support of
the campaign to raise wage, benefit and training standards of security
officers in New York City. The letter was personally delivered to Mr.
Spinola's office by a delegation led by representatives of the clergy, ACORN,
NAACP and Local 32BJ.
"We demand the real estate industry take immediate and concrete steps to
raise standards for private security officers, including wage and benefit
standards," said Bertha Lewis, Executive Director of NY ACORN. "The
irresponsible and unjust treatment of private security officers is
unacceptable. We call on all responsible leaders and groups to work together
and fight this multi-billion dollar industry until we win."
"For the benefit of security officers and their families, and the safety
of all New Yorkers, the time has come for the real estate industry to finally
step up, act responsibly and provide security officers what they need and
deserve," said Kevin Doyle, Local 32BJ Executive Vice President, New York's
largest security union.
With more than 75,000 members, including 60,000 building service workers
in New York, Local 32BJ is the largest private sector union in New York City
and the largest building service union in the country.
"Our communities have a moral obligation to stand together and ensure that
thousands of African-Americans and other minorities are paid a living wage and
treated with dignity and respect," said Patricia Malcolm, Minister and
Secretary of CUSH. "The well-being of these individuals, their families and
our communities is at stake."
"Neglecting the very people who keep us safe is unjust to them, undercuts
the economic vitality of their communities and compromises the security of all
New Yorkers," said David Paterson, Democratic Leader of the NY State Senate.
"We take a professional approach to our security jobs," said Sheila
Frazier, a security officer employed by Burns-Securitas. "All we ask is that
the real estate industry treat us as professionals."

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