Dozens of security officers and community supporters took over the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 28th just as their counterparts in Northern California were protesting at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting. The security officers were protesting working conditions at Security Industry Specialists (SIS) and urging its wealthy clients–including Apple, the Oscars, Amazon and eBay–to support good, full-time, union jobs.
We desperately need to make our economy work for everyone–not just the wealthy. Between 2000 and 2012, Apple profits grew by a whopping 5,209 percent to more than $41 billion. Meanwhile, median worker income in Silicon Valley actually shrank by 12 percent. As for the Oscars, SEIU-USWW security officer Robert Branch said it best when he told the Huffington Post that yearly income for many security officers amounts to less than what one fancy Oscars gown might cost. “When a dress becomes more valuable than the security officer who is protecting the lives of the entertainers and the folks that come to the event, that’s tragic,” Branch said.