Revolt from Above

A family-run union for security guards ousts its members

"They don't belong in this arena. They are not a security union," said Pizzulli.

Spokesmen for Local 32BJ declined to comment about what's happening at Pizzulli's union, but the local is currently challenging the SSOBA for representation of 380 workers employed by a security firm working at John F. Kennedy International Airport who are now earning just over minimum wage.

(L-R) John Cardiello, Tony Martinez, and Tim Cantwell. Photographed in the Long Island Jewish Hospital parking lot.
photo: Filip Kwiatkowski
(L-R) John Cardiello, Tony Martinez, and Tim Cantwell. Photographed in the Long Island Jewish Hospital parking lot.

Pizzulli said the low wages imposed on many of his members were the fault of the industry, not his union. "We try to get the members more money, but it's hard," he said. "This is a nickel-and-dime business and the security companies always fight amongst each other for the contracts and want to pay just the minimum. But we're a fighting union, a security union. We go out and get the votes, and the raises and the benefits. These other young kids," he added, returning to the opponents within his own union, "the ones that are out there who want my job or the other jobs here? They don't want to start from the beginning, do all this hard work. They want to start from the top."

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