Washington Area Women's Foundation

Help enhance security officers' economic security!

Security officers in the District of Columbia are predominantly African American women.

They are often paid as little as $8 per hour and lack paid sick days and other benefits that so many of us–working in the same buildings they do, under their protection–take for granted.

Recently the officers have formed a union and are preparing for their first chance to bargain for better pay and benefits.

In May, The Women’s Foundation hosted an exciting tenant meeting where two security officers told participants about struggling with lack of benefits, low wages and the instability that plagues their jobs.

These same officers now have the chance to improve working conditions by negotiating their first union contract, and it’s crucial that we support them during these negotiations.

Now is our chance. 

The Building Benefits project, a network of tenants in downtown Washington, D.C. offices who support the low-wage workers in their buildings, is providing an opportunity to show solidarity–or a Sticker Day of Action–with these security officers on Wednesday, July 25.  

Please join The Women’s Foundation, who will continue their support by recruiting tenants at 1411 K. Street to wear stickers that will send the message to the security guards in our buildings, “We support you in your efforts to gain better working conditions!”

The Sticker Day of Action is being coordinated by the Building Benefits network, a project of DC Jobs with Justice, Center for Law and Social Policy and the DC Employment Justice Center, and involves tenants in more than 24 office buildings downtown who have committed to supporting workers in their buildings.

We’d love to add you, and your building, to our growing list of participants in this action network!

DC Jobs with Justice– a local coalition of labor unions, faith communities and community organizations – first began organizing office-building tenants during the summer of 2006 to support efforts by security officers to form a union.

In addition to organizing tenant meetings, the Building Benefits network has also been supporting paid sick and safe days for workers in DC.  This issue profoundly affects the lives of women, since working mothers must take care not only of themselves but of their children as well.  If they cannot take paid sick leave they are often forced to make the impossible choice between taking care of a sick child or losing a day’s pay.

Do you work in an office downtown?  Then get involved!

We would love to help you host a brown bag lunch in your building, where your co-workers and other tenants can learn more about these issues and discuss taking action to support workers in the building.

To learn more, please contact Mackenzie Baris by email or at 202-974-8224.

Sarah David Heydemann is a Solidarity Intern with D.C. Jobs With Justice.

The DC Employment Justice Center is a Grantee Partner of The Women’s Foundation.