“I make $15 an hour. I have a set schedule, medical coverage and job security. Our union changed my life.”
Security officer Yasmeen Munoz-Torres is a long way from home. Born in Chicago before graduating high school in Miami, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.
Yasmeen moved here two years ago ready to make her mark.
But when she landed in Seattle, she had a rough go. A minimum wage job had her working crazy hours–with no benefits. She took on a second job to try and catch up but was barely getting by. “That time period was really hard,” she says. “No matter how many hours I worked I couldn’t get my bills paid.” She was tired. Depressed. Stressed out.
A co-worker talked to her about security work. With her ROTC background, Yasmeen considered the position. She had two younger brothers back at home–they looked up to her so it was important that she take a job that set a good example. Becoming a security officer–keeping people safe and secure–fit with that.
She’s been an officer for almost two years now. And her life has changed dramatically. “I love my job, meeting different people. And I love that we are part of a union,” she says.
Thousands of security officers in Seattle have formed a union and together they have won wage increases, benefits, job security and more. “It’s amazing what we have accomplished together,” she says. “I make $15 an hour, I have a set schedule, medical coverage and job security. Our union changed my life.”
Yasmeen says with these gains, she’s no longer stressed out about money or tired from working multiple jobs. “I work 40 hours a week and can pay my bills. It’s that simple,” she says. “I think every officer should be part of a union if they have the opportunity. If you ever have a problem, officers have your back and will help you resolve it.”