Harvard Security Guards Now Permitted to Unionize

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – An agreement between Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Harvard’s security guard contractor will now allow Harvard’s security guards to unionize.

The guards have only won the right to unionize. Possible union membership is expected to raise wages, increase sick time and introduce seniority-based benefits.

Though Harvard has been accused of pressuring AlliedBarton to permit unionization of its guards, the university claims it had no stake in the conflict.

Instrumental in securing the agreement between SEIU and AlliedBarton, however, was Harvard’s Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM). The student activist group has long been lobbying for unionization of the university’s security guards.

Over the past few months, SLAM has organized teach-ins and rallies in protest of AlliedBarton’s and the university’s treatment of the security guards.

One worry circulating among Harvard’s security guards, however, is that unionization may impose limits on overtime work, which would substantially cut their income.

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