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Jamall Williams: "We can change these circumstances with a union."

May 13, 2010


I moved to Boston to help my mother out because she was about to lose her home to foreclosure. I had intended to work as a security officer only for a few months.

I had the good fortune to be quickly promoted to shift-supervisor and everything seemed to be going as planned. Pay was not very good, the health insurance plan was not affordable, but with the steady full-time hours I was getting, I was able to take care of myself and my family.

However, everything changed after I got badly injured in a car-wreck. Since I had no insurance at the time, I was slammed with $17,000 worth of hospital bills. When I returned to work a week later, I had been demoted without any reason.

I am a hard worker. I am courteous to the clients and take care to build good relationships with them. However, I do not see the company I work for rewarding my courtesy and hard work by providing me with decent pay and affordable health insurance that will help me live in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

Instead, with thousands of dollars in debt, I feel trapped where I am for the foreseeable future: living check to check, my banking account always in negative, and hunting for change just to pay for public transportation or food. I believe that we can change those circumstances, as part of the union.