Security guards' unprecedented rejection of management offers - Shockwaves in Security Industry

    MONTREAL, Feb. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The United Steelworkers (FTQ) has
completed a round of 28 meetings in 14 Quebec cities. Its 14,000 security
guards have rejected the most recent offers made by the Association
provinciale des agences de sécurité (APAS). "This rejection, which is
unprecedented in the security industry, reflects a greater level of militancy
within our membership. The APAS will have to adapt to this new reality. Since
September 11, 2001, the work done by security guards has changed considerably:
new work processes, new technology, new training programs, new
responsibilities. Our security guards' rejection of management's offers
confirms that employers will have to take this situation into account. Our
members are experiencing this reality every single day that they work under
this contract," declared Robert Bernier, USW (FTQ) coordinator in the Montreal
area and spokesperson for the Union negotiations committee.
    Thirty-three meetings were required to carry out these negotiations, 13
of which took place before a conciliator. "It's quite simple. This employers'
association needs to go back and do its homework. They have to put more money
on the table, especially in the form of evening, night and weekend shift
premiums. The industry has changed, and so has militancy. Our members want
respect, which will be reflected in better conditions," continued union
staffer Michel Courcy.
    In addition to the above shift premiums, issues relating to wages and an
increase or expansion of the terms for other existing premiums must also be
addressed. One example is the premium paid to security guards assigned to
hospital psychiatric wings, which they believe should apply to other guards
working in the same hospital. "As a result of deinstitutionalization, our
members find themselves in a hospital emergency ward performing duties that
would normally be their responsibility in the psychiatric wing. Circumstances
have changed, and employers need to readjust their thinking. Our members are
sick and tired of bearing the costs of all these changes, without seeing any
improvement in their conditions," concluded Michel Courcy.
    The conciliator has summoned all parties to another session on February
29, 2008. The average hourly rate paid to these workers is $13.64.

For further information:

For further information: Robert Bernier, USW/Syndicat des Métallos
(FTQ), (514) 599-2001; Michel Courcy, USW/Syndicat des Métallos (FTQ), (514)

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