Letter to the Editor
To the Editor,
I am writing in response to a recent letter in your publication written by Jennifer Pelly, entitled "Unethical Labor Practices at Fordham?" If this were an assignment in a writing class, she would have received an F for non-creative thinking. She has taken almost totally what has been told to her by the SEIU (I have attached 32BJ's most recent leaflet for compassion), and mixed it around a bit, and called it her own. There is not an original thought in the piece. I do not wish to be unkind toward Ms. Pelly, because I too once wrote for my school newspaper. However, this is becoming frustrating. I will address some of 32BJ's talking points as adopted by Ms. Pelly.
Once again, SEIU and each and every one of their locals, including 32BJ, may never have an election certified by the National Labor Relations Board to represent security officers. I repeat, never. For your reference I cite Section 9(b)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act. The 32BJ agitator cannot get around the law. This significant law also prohibits security officers from "switching" to any other union other than a pure security guard union. Ms. Pelly has proposed this "switch" to a new union as a good solution; however it cannot be a solution by law. SEIU is what is known as a "mixed" union. They represent janitors, porters, etc. They even represent strippers. SEIU will represent anyone, provided they will pay their exorbitant dues, after all, this is what they are about. This is not the union which should be representing security guards.
As to Ms. Pelly's allegation that Allied refuses to give our members copies of their contract, this is again untrue. Any member of Allied International who requests a copy of the contract can, and will receive it. This has always been our policy. In fact, it is well settled labor law. This is merely a ploy of 32BJ to distract A.I.U from our singular mission: representing only security guards. Even Ms. Pelly's new friend "Steve" the security guard is eligible for a copy of the contract. He can call me any time without fear of retribution. If he still feels uncomfortable, he can disguise his voice.
As to Ms. Pelly's allegations that Summit Security has numerous federal and state law violations, it is not our duty as a union to speak for the Employer. However, Ms. Pelly has not her due diligence. She makes no mention of the 250 charges that have been filed against 32BJ at the N.L.R.B in 2007, and the year is not over yet. ALL of these charges have been brought by actual members of 32BJ who claim that they were not represented by 32BJ even though they pay up to $75 per month in union dues. Sadly, in the past five years, thousands of changes were filed against 32BJ by their own members for failing to represent them in their time of need. Is this really the union that Ms. Pelly wants for the Fordham security guards?
Most importantly, Ms. Pelly is incorrect in her statement of facts concerning the loss of Summit Security guards on 9-11. I knew most of these guards personally, so this charge against A.I.U. is particularly hurtful. Most significantly, these officers were no longer members of Allied International. (Even though they voted in A.I.U to represent them, these innocents were forced in 32BJ and no vote was taken). They were members of the 32BJ whether they liked it or not. 32BJ went through the back door as they are now attempting to do at Fordham. If Summit's surviving employees did not receive the wages they were entitled to, 32BJ had the obligation to file grievances on their behalf. This is particularly insulting that Ms. Pelly would throw around reckless charges like this, stating that a "new union such at 32BJ would protect the officers against things of these sorts" (sic), since 32BJ was the very union who failed the officers at the World Trade Center.
Although the Summit Security Officers working at the W.T.C. were not members of Allied International, we contributed thousands of dollars to the Summit Security 9/11 Victim's Fund. 32BJ is exploiting perhaps the worst tragedy in American history for their own petty gain. This is common practice for them. Please Ms. Pelly, do not allow 32BJ to use you any further. They are very clever manipulators. They have not told you the truth. Ascertain ALL the facts before you put pen to paper. Check everything with your handlers at 32BJ. Double check everything they tell you, or you will run the risk of embarrassment. Be forewarned. This is what they do. They are very good at it. What they are not good at is representing security guards.
Mary Beth Stafford
Vice President, AIU
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