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Baltimore security officers pray for chance to achieve MLK’s dream

1/26/2015, 1 p.m.
At a candlelight vigil on Friday, January 16, 2015, Baltimore security officers, local clergy and elected officials called on city ...
SEIU 32BJ Security Officers hold a Martin Luther King Day Vigil outside City Hall in Baltimore City on Friday, January 16, 2015. (Photo: Rick Reinhard)

— At a candlelight vigil on Friday, January 16, 2015, Baltimore security officers, local clergy and elected officials called on city security contractors to provide officers the opportunity to achieve Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. Leaders urged contractors to follow a City Council resolution supporting officers' efforts "to negotiate for family”— sustaining wages, access to quality health care and a healthy working environment.”

King was defending the rights of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee when he was assassinated in 1968.

Since September 2014, 32BJ SEIU has been negotiating with major security contractors for a first-ever union contract covering 500 private security officers who protect Baltimore residents, businesses, universities, hospitals, and public institutions.

With more than 145,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country. Members are office cleaners, security officers, doormen, porters, maintenance workers, bus drivers and aides, window cleaners, school cleaners and food service workers. 32BJ is based in New York City, and operates in eight states and Washington, D.C. It is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, a labor union representing over 2 million workers.

Indie Soul welcomes your questions and comments. To contact Phinesse Demps, call 410-366-3900 ext. 3016 or 410-501-0193 or email: pdemps@btimes.com. Follow him on Twitter@pdemps_btimes.