Friday, August 21, 2009

Private Security: Low-paying, Dead-End and Deadly

According to the US Department of Labor, being a security guard is the tenth most deadly job in the nation.

As a recent example of this, Stephen Tyrone, a member of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America, was gunned down at his job in the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, in July.

"A soft-spoken, gentle giant," said Milton Talley, a former employee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where Johns was killed yesterday in the line of duty -- shot, authorities said, by an avowed white supremacist who entered the museum with a rifle

The security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art put their lives on the line every day as they serve as the first line of defense against senseless violence that could break out at a big, public facility like the museum. They will be the first to respond to theft (art theft is an increasing phenomena). Despite this enormous risk, the guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art make less that $20,000 per year.

To add insult to injury, we were informed that the expected $.25 per hour raise ($2 increase for a day's work, about the price of a cup of coffee) will not be given. What would Sally Struthers think?

Let's hope that Mr. Timothy Rub considers these facts before he takes over the helm at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A dangerous job like this should pay family sustaining wages. The museum should recognize the Philadelphia Security Officers Union so that the workers can play a direct role in planning for their future and that of their families should something like what took place in Washington DC, God forbid, take place here.

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