The employer, Andrews International, is currently under investigation by the Attorney General's Office of Massachusetts and by the National Labor Relations Board in Boston and New York.
Allegations include "stolen wages, unpaid overtime, no meal breaks, understaffing, sexual harassment—you name it," said John Macias, a security officer employed by Andrews International and stationed at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. "If we can't trust them on these things, how can the public trust Andrews to keep people safe?" His comments appeared in the January 7 issue of Entertainment Business Newsweekly.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is spearheading the investigation. . With 2.2 million members, SEIU represents more than 30,000 security officers nationwide and claims to be the fastest-growing labor union in the US.
The union is also putting forward allegations that security officers stationed at some of the highest-profile studios in Hollywood are some of the lowest-paid workers in Hollywood. The union claims workers employed by Andrews International make as little as $12 an hour. And yet in 2001 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified the Hollywood film studios as potential targets for terrorism activities, given the high profile of the actors who work there.
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And in Boston an Andrews International security officer was terminated for allegedly supporting the formation of a union on the job. A group of Andrews International security officers at the Distrigas liquid natural gas terminal in Everett are among the lowest-paid at the facility, even in the face of homeland security concerns related to the site. The Office of the Attorney General is investigating a number of labor law violations, including a requirement that employees take part in 40 hours of training without pay.
A news release issued by the SEIU on January 20 points out that Andrews International has paid millions in settlements, penalties and fines in recent years while continuing to face repeated complaints and violations.