Union says security firm is intimidating employees

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SEIU Local 26 has called on Hannon Security, the metro area’s largest nonunion security company, to quit tampering with its officers’ attempts to organize.

Bloomington-based Hannon, repeatedly has come under federal investigation for allegedly violating labor law. “We have some charges pending with the National Labor Relations Board, and we’ve had charges in the past against them that the board found merited,” said SEIU organizer Debbie Prokopf.

Workers allege the company harasses and interrogates workers who it believes are working to organize for better wages and affordable health care. Workers also say the company maintains policies that prohibit security officers from exercising their right to free speech.

At a rally Aug. 9 in Golden Valley, two Hannon officers told a crowd of more than 60 community leaders, clergy, labor allies, elected officials and fellow officers that Hannon executives were less than receptive to their concerns.

“Hannon management told me that I shouldn’t expect to make a living at Hannon,” officer Leon Wolf said at the rally. “If officers can’t make a living, what is the incentive to stay and do a good job?”

Health care ranks among security officers’ top concerns. While Hannon claims to offer its employees affordable health insurance, co-pays and gaps in coverage render the plan virtually useless, and some officers report having to enroll in county- and state-subsidized health plans.

Other security companies in the Twin Cities have allowed their officers to unionize. According to SEIU Local 26, more than 700 security officers in the Twin Cities have joined together to improve the profession and raise standards in the industry.

“Hannon needs to stop what it’s doing and let its officers join with the other security workers in the region who have banded together to improve the security industry,” Prokopf said.

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