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Security Guards Need a National Voice

If you’ve been to an office building or production plant a security officer has most likely greeted you. To prevent any confusion first let’s define the word security guard. For the purposes of this blog entry, a security guard is an individual who has been granted a license (in my state) by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board

” (6) Security guard and patrol profession means any person, firm, association,or corporation that provides a security guard on a contractual basis for another person, firm, association, or corporation for a fee or other valuable consideration and performing one or more of the following functions” full N.C. statute.

Here’s some insight into a “typical work week” as a security officer. Work a straight 8 or 12-hour shift without a relief or break of any kind. You will most likley be scheduled to work up to 8 days in a row. Actual working conditions will vary from hot to cold but you will always be required to wear a polyester shirt and pants. Sounds like fun? Not really.

It’s true that this is a dog eat dog industry where turnover is 100% or more and margins run thin. (Few industries complain of fat margins.) Security companies are challenged to make a profit while serving their clients. Above the din of “client management” there is little room for the voice and concerns of the officer.

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Some will argue that “you can get another job”. This might be true for some guards but not all of them have the same education or experience that would permit them employment latitude.

From what I’ve seen first hand, security guards might benefit from a union or other labor organization. A voice for the concerns of the guards who are left holding the proverbial bag in the middle of this lop-sided “customer service” equation. Perhaps a union can help solve the low wage and poor working conditions that seem to plague this industry.

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