1 Feb 2010 12:00 Africa/Lagos
Report: Despite Blockbuster 2009, Hollywood Security Officers Still in Poverty
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new report being released today by the Service Employees International Union highlights the continued poverty wages of Hollywood’s mostly African American and Latino security officers, despite record 2009 revenues for Los Angeles wealthy film studios.
“These studios have millions coming in each and every day,” says Rogelio Garcia, employed by security firm Andrews International at Fox Studios. “And each and every day we’re out there protecting them for next to nothing.”
Entitled “Reel Profits, Real Poverty: How Major Hollywood Studios Are Leaving Security Officers Behind,” the report focuses on the economic disparity between wealthy Hollywood studios and officers employed by the studios’ security company of choice, Andrews International, owned by Boston-based private equity firm Audax. Despite economic recession, the film industry brought in a record $10.7 billion in revenue in 2009. Meanwhile Hollywood security officers are paid as little as $10 an hour and struggle to meet basic needs such as food, medicine, and shelter.
In a town known internationally for its reputed progressive values, security officers featured in the report testify to discrimination, lack of training and equipment, working up to 10 hours without breaks, and having to choose between buying food or medicine. One Andrews International officer tells of co-workers–a mother and daughter–who lost their apartment and were forced to live on the Sony film studio lot. The pair were discovered and fired. The report can be viewed at http://insecurewithandrews.org/2010/01/new-report-reel-profits-real-poverty.ht ml.
Unlike other Hollywood workers, security officers do not have a union and do not share in film industry prosperity. Andrews International officers in Hollywood are joining with Andrews International officers in six states who have been trying since 2009 to form a union with SEIU in order to raise company — and industry — standards. With more than 10,500 security personnel in the U.S. and Mexico, Andrews International is the seventh-largest contract security firm in the United States.
With 2.2 million members, SEIU is the nation’s fastest-growing labor union and represents more than 30,000 security officers nationwide. Visit insecurewithandrews.org to learn more.
Source: Service Employees International Union
CONTACT: Kevin O’Donnell, +1-312-401-7598
Web Site: http://insecurewithandrews.org/