On Veterans’ Day, Portland’s Mayor-Elect Joins Vets to Call for Good Security Jobs
Security officers in Portland, Oregon gathered on Veterans’ Day with local leaders including City Mayor-Elect Charlie Hales and Daryl Turner, President of the Portland Police Association, to highlight the low wages and poor training that many veterans face in the security industry.
41 percent of Portland’s security officers have served America in the armed forces.
The Mayor-elect spoke of the duty we have to treat veterans with respect and build a social contract where hard work provides a pathway into the American middle class. As soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, they were willing to sacrifice everything. Now, it is time for Portland-based companies to show their appreciation to the veterans who protect their property and their safety in buildings across the city.
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As they negotiate their first contract, the officers are asking for a fair agreement to let them work hard to raise a family with decent housing, quality healthcare, access to education, and a dignified retirement.
The Veterans’ Day event showed the depth of support that veterans in the security industry have in Portland. It was also attended by representatives of Sen. Jeff Merkley.
Jarrad Dukes, an officer, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, said:
“I only make $11 an hour. My hope is that winning a fair union contract will start to change our situation here. I’d like to be able to not have to choose between paying our electric bill and having just enough gas money to get to work.”
Speaking at the press conference, Mayor-Elect Hales, said: “We can all make sure, whether we’re on either side of the bargaining table, that the wages and benefits that working people, including our veterans, are family wages, and that welcome that veteran and the other folks that work hard every day into the American middle class.”