Now this veteran fights for her family, her fellow security officers, and all Californians

 

Tiffany Dinkins3bestTiffany Dinkins has spent the last twelve years applying her experience in the U.S. Army to protecting people and property as a security officer. She values the discipline she learned in the army.

“We’re set up to have a certain line of defense,” she says. “It makes you more observant. You’re marked to be able to stand for the country.”

“We go through a lot of drilling. It’s psychological work that makes you fit to do security.”

Tiffany Dinkins old army picBut Tiffany worries that not all veterans have been able to transition effectively after their service.

“A lot of vets have mental health issues when they come home,” she says. “The government forgets about us after we come home. I’ve seen a lot of homeless vets.”

She also worries about the challenges that working families face, particularly in high-cost areas like California.

“We have three kids and two dogs,” she says. “We’re trying to buy a house, but it’s hard, even with multiple jobs.”

Tiffany works two different security jobs to help support her family, and has learned how important it is to stand together with her co-workers to make things better.

“It changed my perspective tremendously when I became a part of my union,” she says.

“We’re together at work for eight hours a day. We see each other more than we see our families,” she says. “The union is only as strong as we make it. If someone isn’t getting paid, we have to come together and support each other.”

At one of her work sites, Tiffany and her co-workers did exactly that.

“We were paying the insurance premiums,” she says, “But they hadn’t actually signed us up for health care coverage.”

“I organized my co-workers, and we filed a grievance. We won about $8,000 in back pay for each of the 12 security officers at our site.”

Tiffany has also won regular raises through her union, and has seen her pay increase gradually, from just over $14 to $19.65 now.

Even as she continues to organize in San Francisco, she’s helping strengthen her union by supporting security officers in Silicon Valley who are forming their union. She also stresses the importance of allowing everyone to form unions, no matter what type of work they do. Tiffany has supported fast food workers and the broad Fight for $15 and union rights.

In addition, Tiffany helped win better protections against wage theft — for everyone in California.

“We become part of a whole other type of fight,” she says. “We’re really changing history.”

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