Is Universal Protection Service a Responsible Contractor for California?
Security officers working for Universal Protection Service (UPS) in Silicon Valley have sounded the alarm on low wages, wage theft and retaliation for speaking out. Despite organizing their co-workers and bringing their concerns to the company for two years, UPS still hasn’t resolved the issues.
Now SEIU’s Responsible Contracting Program has downgraded UPS from “green” to “yellow” status in California—meaning that property managers that use UPS have been put on notice that there are problems which require immediate attention.
Silicon Valley security officer Dan Gretz, who started working for UPS after the company acquired his former employer, Silver Shield Security, was not surprised to hear that SEIU had put a watch on UPS in California.
“In the first year of the transition to UPS, they cut my pay from $24 to $14 an hour,” Dan said.
“I decreased my expenses as much as I could, but it wasn’t enough. I had to refinance my car twice. I added debt to credit cards. I just finished going through bankruptcy, and my fiancée and I can’t afford to live together anymore.”
Universal Protection Service (UPS) is preparing for its biggest acquisition yet – national security contractor Guardsmark, LLC. Integrating a new security contractor into a company is always a challenge, and this time there are already questions about its ability to perform responsibly.
UPDATE: Since this post originally appeared on July 24, the National Labor Relations Board found merit in charges that UPS violated the rights of security officers working together to form a union, by engaging illegally in surveillance, threats, coercion, interrogation, and by illegally changing procedures for security officers to sign up for overtime.