PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the hostage situation in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center, and security officers used the occasion to push for more recognition and a new union contract.
Members of the Service Employees International Union marched through downtown Pittsburgh late Friday, reminding officer workers that they’re here to protect them.
“You go to work in skyscrapers, in banks, on university campuses, the airport, museums. Every major building and institution in this city is protected by you,” Sam Williamson with the SEIU said to the crowd.
There’s no greater illustration than the hostage siege in 2012 when a man with a knife and a hammer held a business owner hostage for six hours. Security officer Donna Scuilli, who was unarmed, was first on the scene.
She spoke to the crowd Friday.
“I was the security officer who had to escort the SWAT team up the stairwell to the 16th floor. By this time, my daughters are watching the news,” Scuilli said. “The thought of the situation brings up the same emotions as if it were happening right now.”
Workplace shootings are becoming all too common, which is one more reason why the security officers are seeking a new contract. They’re asking for $15 an hour and health insurance. Their current contract expires in nine days and there was a hint of a possible walk-out at the rally.