ABM security officer and SEIU Local 26 member Renita Whicker knows first-hand what a great union contract can do for officers who've won the fight for a union. She's one of 1000 Minneapolis and St. Paul officiers who are Local 26 members.
"I was on the bargaining committee and that was very exciting," the energetic grandmother and Georgia native said. "We had an excellent package for health insurance. Everybody was excited to be getting that because we'd never been offered it before."
Renita explained that under the old plan, single people might be able to afford health care under the employer's plan, but the insurance that the company offered was out of reach financially for families. She and her co-workers won a contract that changed all of that. The security officers were also able to win paid sick days and holidays, Renita adds.
Rita believes that standing with 1000 suburban security officers is just common sense.
"We will be strong in unity. Two thousand officers will have a big impact when it comes time to take a step," she tells suburban officers.
She looks forward to having that impact in 2012, when their contract comes up again.
"The suburban officers should get on board with us," Renita said. "If they've gotten any word of our reputation, they know we accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. They will find union membership to be very beneficial."