By Alex Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Security guards explained their plight to the Workers’ Rights Board Thursday night in hopes of better working conditions.
Three security guards explained their working conditions to a panel of four community leaders. IUPUI Associate Professor Tom Marvin helped facilitiate the event and says they heard testimony about the guards’ poverty-level wages and lack of benefits. “In spite of the fact that two of the guards are working at the site of the new public hospital in Indianapolis, they don’t have adequate health coverage,” Marvin says. “Their employer doesn’t contribute anything toward their health care and with the wages that they earn, they really can’t afford a decent plan on their own.”
Marvin says the guards also mentioned their lack of training which was another concern. James Townsel, a guard with Securatex, is one of the guards at the site for the new Wishard Hospital and says there is a lot of turnaround of security guards because of the lack of training. Townsel says they often work 12 hour shifts with few or no breaks.
Marvin says the panel will write a report on the testimony and will look at possible steps to improve the security guards’ conditions which may include an appeal to the City-County Council. He says the panel may try to pass a proposal through the Council that deals with the training of security guards. He says the panel also hopes employers will become open to bargaining with a union so the guards can have a chance to earn better wages and benefits.