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San Diego Security Officer Speaking Up for Better Communication & Fairness at the Worksite

June 26, 2017

Angel Rodriquez got his start in security when he was a teenager working on movie sets in his hometown of New York. Before heading to California he was a jack-of-all-trades—working construction, in hotels, you name it.

Angel 2

A huge Yankees fan, Angel left Brooklyn and traveled to San Diego where he continues to protect people and property as a security officer. And he still roots for his favorite baseball team every chance he can.

“I’m a people person. I love the customer service aspect of the job and making people feel safe and protected. I always had an eye for security growing up,” he says.

Angel was recently guarding a huge site with lots of commercial activity. “There was so much going on, thousands of people in and out daily. There were bomb threats. You’d have to walk 9 miles during one shift just to cover the perimeters and make sure things were ok,” he says.

While he loved the post, he felt there was a lack of communication with management.

“I just felt managers weren’t communicating and were not applying the rules right,” he says. “They would throw you in the fire without a lot of help or training, and you are paying for mistakes you don’t even know you are making.”

To help fix this, Angel went out on his own and bought a large whiteboard for the break-room so that officers could write up the major incidents that happened and keep the rest of the guards in the loop.

It was much appreciated. So he kept going.

“The wages they paid were a problem too. So many officers were upset because they hadn’t gotten raises,” he says. “I decided to write up a petition. My wife helped me put it together and it listed out the important work we do and why we needed to be paid better.”

If you aren’t from the area, San Diego is an expensive city. “The cost of living is really high. And if you have kids, it’s even harder to make it here,” he says. “No officer was looking for a free hand out. We do essential work and we deserve good wages.”

The petition worked. And officers won a $1.00 pay raise. “It wasn’t enough. But it was a start,” he says.

Not long after, Angel visited New York and returned to San Diego with gifts for some of his co-workers.

“I was working a holiday weekend, right after I got back from a family trip to Brooklyn. I brought three of my security friends a gag gift of Trump toilet paper,” he says.

His supervisor saw the presents and told him it was fine to hand out as long as he didn’t show everyone. His co-workers took the gifts home.

Several work days went by, and then management terminated Angel. He called to clarify if he was fired from the company or from the site.

“I worked that site for over three years with a perfect record. Never late. Do all the over-time they ask of me. I do the job right and am extremely responsible,” he says. “And they are firing me for some joke gifts?"

Angel did not think this was right.

“I contacted the news and explained my situation. A Congressmen saw what happened and he stepped in and contacted the company to get my job back,” he says.

The company responded. They told him we was site terminated. And as of this writing, he is waiting to be reassigned to a new location.

And he isn’t giving up.

The lack of communication, the low pay and unfair treatment are all reasons Angel is standing up and working with over 1,000 San Diego officers to form their union.

“I’m a family man and a fighter. I want to do what’s right until something good comes out of the situation,” he says.

“As officers, we need to be treated better by these companies. We need to be paid good wages. We put our lives on the line, we have families and bills to pay. We deserve this,” he says. “We’ll win the union and we’ll make this right.”

When he isn’t with his family or on the job protecting people, Angel is an avid adventurer who participates in running and obstacle races.

His self-penned motto that gets him through the challenges in his life:

I am a champion. Defeat will not be in my creed. I believe others will doubt me. I have trained my mind and my body. I will reach my field of battle by any means necessary. When I get there I will arrive ready to fight my way through any obstacles because nothing can stop me. I refuse to quit. I never give up. I am a champion.