Silicon Valley Security Guards Claim Discrimination By High-Tech Firms

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SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Security guards for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley are voicing displeasure over what they have called discrimination against them for trying to unionize.

“I was laid off recently. No notice, no severance package,” said Michael Johnson, a security guard. “And I have two kids that are starting college.”

Johnson, who patrolled a high-tech company in San Jose, said his termination may have been in retaliation for his efforts to form a union.

“That’s difficult to say. But the five of us that were laid off, all of us were pro-union,” he said.

The Service Employees International Union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against Universal Protection Service, the Southern California company that contracts with high-tech firms for security.

Peter Fang with SEIU said unionizing would help security guards earn a living wage in Silicon Valley.

“We know that’s not going to get them all the way, but we feel it’s a way for average people who have to work for a living, such as these security officers, to better their lives and help improve the lives of their families,” Fang said.

Universal Protection Service did not respond to KCBS’ request for comment.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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