Strong Together

United Protection Services (UPS) treat their security guards at Wood Buffalo as second class citizens. That treatment is unacceptable and it is high time that it was addressed. 

A few examples of this troubling treatment come immediately to mind. The guards live in separate housing facilities away from the other employees. The facilities only house 4 bathrooms for over 40 guards, which is insufficient for the guards' needs. The facilities are also quite old and are neither clean nor safe to live in.  

Despite their hard and valuable work, the Wood Buffalo guards receive the lowest wages in the entire region. As a result of all this degrading treatment, the other workers regard the Wood Buffalo guards disrespectfully and as below them.​ 

Further, April Stone and the UPS supervisors also treat the guards poorly, placing unnecessary and distracting pressure on the guards. As a result, the guards live in a constant fear of termination. 

UFCW Local 401 has given the guards hope that a better work place is possible. The Union has shown the Wood Buffalo guards that when we work together, our voice is strong and we can demand the treatment we deserve from our employers. 

Unfortunately, Ms. Stone and the UPS supervisors responded to the Union's efforts by placing more pressure on the guards. In some instances, their efforts to influence the guards crossed the line into harassment. All of this was a sad attempt to convince the guards not to join UFCW Local 401. 

Ms. Stone’s treatment went too far when one of the guards’ well-being was endangered. We will never forget the night that Security Officer Muhiadeen started having chest pains at around midnight while he was working the night shift. Muhiadeen could not receive medical attention immediately because he needed permission to leave the camp and go to the hospital; he had to wait until Ms. Stone woke up at 10:30am and she gave him permission to leave. To make matters worse, Muhiadeen wasn’t paid for seventeen hours because he was "sick". 

Further, after Security Officer Abdirasaq Noor returned from vacation, he was informed by Ms. Stone that she was dismissing poeple and that he should not have bothered returning. Subsequently, Noor was terminated for no justifiable reason. 

Finally, the Bargaining Committee met on April 13 and 14 to discuss negotiations to date. Mr. Long was in attendance at those meetings and explicitly voiced his support for the Union and the benefits that Wood Buffalo guards would receive from their membership in the Union. Later, Mr. Long completely contradicted his previous actions by writing a letter opposing Wood Buffalo guards' membership in UFCW Local 401. 

Everyone on the Bargaining Committee is shocked and disappointed by Mr. Long's dishonest actions. In discussions with guards at the WAPASU Exit Gate, the Committee has learned that we are not alone in finding Mr. Long's actions disgusting and objectionable. Everyone is agreed that what Mr. Long did was underhanded and that he should not be trusted moving forward. 

The Bargaining Committee is sending this message to ensure that Wood Buffalo guards know that we will not be deterred from our efforts to join UFCW Local 401 and provide guards with the benefits of union membership that they need and deserve!