DePaul students picket to support security officers

Students and others gathered in the rain Tuesday to show support for security officers who are upset about their working conditions. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

About 100 people picketed in the rain Tuesday in support of the building security officers at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus.

The protesters, including students and union members, say the 15 security guards, who work for Guardian Security, are poorly paid — about $11.50 an hour — and have meager benefits.

The protesters want DePaul administrators to drop Guardian Security’s contract.

“It is our tuition dollars that [are] going to pay for this contract,” said student Alex Boutros, a senior at DePaul. “This contract, that is taking advantage of people who are part of our community and are working every day to keep our dorms and our DePaul community safe. Our tuition dollars should go to a responsible union contractor,”

The protesters say they have gathered some 1,000 student signatures in support of their cause.

Guardian, they say, has harassed employees who’ve complained about their work conditions.

“They’ve been messing around with people’s hours. They’ve been coming to campus, intimidating people. They’ve been sending emails with threatening language in them,” said Kevin Pietrick, an organizer with Service Employees International Union Local 1.

A spokesperson for Guardian had no comment.

About 100 people gathered at DePaul University on a rainy Tuesday morning, urging the university to fire its private security firm. They say the guards are not being treated fairly by the company, Guardian Security. The company had no comment. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

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