DEPAUL — DePaul University braced for a one-day strike by front-desk security guards on Tuesday.
Nonunion university guards with Guardian Security plan a one-day strike charging unfair labor practices, beginning with a demonstration at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Fullerton and Clifton avenues, organized in part by the Service Employees International Union Local 1.
The union charged "alleged gender and racial discrimination" in incidents filed with the National Labor Relations Board, calling Guardian Security "an irresponsible contractor" and adding, "Many Guardian Security officers live in poverty and struggle to pay for basic needs, like groceries and CTA passes."
The union suggests that poor treatment of Guardian Security workers "has led to high turnover among security officers and undermines the quality of security of the DePaul community."
The union claims the support of more than 1,000 students who have signed a petition backing the guards, many of whom are expected to attend the demonstration Tuesday morning.
The university issued a statement in response Monday pointing out that "Guardian's business operations and employment practices are independent from DePaul," while insisting that security positions would be filled during the one-day strike.
"Guardian Security Services has been a contractor for DePaul University for a number of years, providing overnight front-desk security in our residence halls," the statement added. "DePaul has worked with Guardian to make plans that address anticipated staffing shortages. ... We expect all front-desk shifts will be covered."
Guardian Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.