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Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Every year on November 11th we recognize Veterans Day as a time to honor our country’s military veterans, past and present,who fought to protect our freedom and ensure our safety. This year being no different please join us in thanking our nation’s heroic veterans, who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free, including our many MSA employees who currently serve or have served in our nation’s military.

Thank You For Your Service,

Bill Beaury

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Comment from an Anonymous Handler

The canine stipend, much like the handler salaries at MSA Security have been frozen in time, but when management decided to make a change, instead of increasing the stipend as a responsible company would, they butchered it. Whenever the topic of a raise came up management was quick to point out that we were getting $400 a month tax free and that $400 should be considered part of our salary. At one time we were threatened with getting a 1099 for the stipend. There was a proposal that the stipend would increase yearly and cap out at $1000/month. It would have been fair, but as we have come to learn, nothing about MSA is fair when it comes to the handlers. Same old story, they kept the salary and held the ESOP over our heads, all the while telling us we were "employee owners" and would someday own the company and have a seat on the Board of Directors but of course that never happened and now we have to fight just to be treated with some dignity. Imagine what this place would be like without the union? Scary. Arrogant and egomaniacal managers rule MSA and we are expendable to them, they expect us to be loyal but that loyalty is not a two-way street. The State Department contract for the validation center as a matter of public record is almost $100 million dollars where does all that money go? $80.00 stipend what a joke. $100 million from the State Department yet MSA allowed dogs to go overseas and is complicit in the canines suffering and the deplorable conditions they had to endure. The dogs I'm most cases were starving, dying of thirst, infested with fleas, feces and worms. The poor dogs probably welcomed death. No oversight, no assurances that the dogs would be cared for properly, a black eye for MSA, but no accountability, no discipline. I would say the Virginia guys have it pretty good and go along with "business as usual", while around the country we look forward to another cold winter with a leash in our hands. What's been done in Virginia Glenn? What steps have been taken to make sure something this tragic never occurs again? MSA Security has become a joke in the working dog community thanks to our leadership.

Thanks for the update Bill and thanks for fighting the good fight, God knows it can't be easy.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Union Update

Dear Fellow Handlers,

As the Holidays quickly approach I wanted to give you a quick update of what’s going on and what your union is up to. We have been to several hearings at the NLRB standing up for the handlers that have been mistreated, suspended and wrongfully terminated. We are fighting for the $400 stipend MSA has wrongfully taken from you, replacing it with a paltry $80 dollars.

The math used to justify an $80 stipend just doesn't add up. We know it, MSA knows it, and every handler being forced to spend their own money for MSAs benefit knows it. Did you know if you rent a car from any of the National car rental companies and bring it back with dog hair in it, much like your personal vehicles, they will charge you a $175 surcharge to clean the dog hair out of their vehicle? The top hotel chains will charge you an $125 surcharge to clean your room that has a dog in it . That’s $300 right there. Also, when was the last time you were able to take public transportation to work? I bet MSA would be proud if you took their dog on the subway or the bus during rush hour. They require you to have a car to transport their dog, so they should be responsible for a car payment, car insurance, car maintenance, and parking the vehicle.

How much is that worth to many of you? About $750 a month? Let's add this up, $750 plus $300 for cleaning. Then add dog food, biscuits, beds, toys, kennel fees, tolls, plus the time you and your family spend making a well rounded stable canine that MSA will threaten to take away from you and your family at the drop of a hat for imaginary rule violations. They will then tell you to abide by the code of conduct as management continuously breaks every rule threatening you if you don’t work every tour they throw at you and your canine. 

So let your supervisors, district managers, and upper management know $80 dollars doesn’t cut it! We'll continue our legal battle for the return of the $400 stipend and continue to demand it be increased in our negotiations. Let MSA management know it’s time to stop dragging their feet and give you and your partner a fair contact.

Bill Beaury

Friday, September 27, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

As you are aware, the first of four payments to each of you is scheduled to be disbursed October 8. Please keep in mind that this is when disbursements will commence, and not necessarily the date that your payment will be disbursed. Over seven hundred checks will be disbursed each period, one year apart.

We have instructed Rust Consulting to send a specific statement to each of you explaining what the payment represents. This statement will be customized to explain your specific payment in as much detail as is possible, including an explanation of the net settlement amount to be distributed for the period to the class, and the number of work weeks MSA has reported for you from which the payment was calculated. For the reasons explained in my prior emails, it was not feasible to get this information to you beforehand, but it will accompany your first payment.

While the payments can only be as accurate as the payroll records we have been provided with, please know that MSA has represented to us, by contract, that they are accurate. While that does not necessarily guarantee that they are, we have established a modest "reserve fund" in the settlement to account for any errors that might occur. If you believe that any error was made, you can report this to me, Paul Aloe, Fran Curran, or Rust Consulting at (877) 906-1609. We have consistently reported changes of address to Rust, and we do not anticipate that any major errors will occur. However, keep in mind that we will all be monitoring this for the next three years in order to ensure that any errors are corrected.

The first payment MSA was obligated for has already been received and is being held in escrow. All future payments have also be secured by a Letter of Credit in excess of 10 million dollars.

Be aware that Rust Consulting has thousands of clients it is servicing, so don't be surprised if your emails to Amanda are not automatically responded to, or if you have to send information more than once. You will find that I will be responsive to any of your inquiries, as will Paul or Fran.

Regards,
David Aboulafia

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

I am now advised that payments will commence on or about October 8.
Please check your notices for the tax treatment of your payments:

* NY EMPLOYEES 7/18/11 - 11/10/18 OR CA EMPLOYEES 7/18/14 - 11/10/18:
25% of your payments are considered back wages and normal payroll taxes will be deducted. The other 75% will be considered non wage income and no deductions will be taken.

* ALL OTHER HANDLERS 5/22/14 - 11/10/18:
50% of your payments are considered back wages and normal payroll taxes will be deducted. The other 50% will be considered non wage income and no deductions will be taken.

Please be reminded that I cannot offer any tax advice. Provide your accountant with the notices you were provided with, or have him/her review the final settlement agreement in the Court file.
Regards,

Dave Aboulafia

Friday, August 9, 2019

Lawsuit Update

LAWSUIT UPDATE

The settlement has been approved by the judge.  We're hoping that within 60 days, the first payment will be issued. Our lawyers will be monitoring all and as things progress, I’ll keep you updated. 

Bill Beaury

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Lawsuit Update

Dear Clients:

On August 8, the District Court will have a final hearing to approve the settlement in this case. The last time I checked, there was not one objection to the settlement by any class member.

After this hearing, I anticipate that the Court will formally approve the settlement with a written Order. While I cannot predict when the Judge will do this, he is known for acting quickly in this regard. Technically, 30 days thereafter, payments to all class members should commence. All class members will receive 4 equal, separate payments over a three year period. We have only been able to give you a general formula for how the payments will be calculated.

A company by the name of Rust Consulting will be administering these payments. Amanda Myette (amyette@rustconsulting.com) is our main contact person there. Paul Aloe and I will be available for the duration to handle any issues that may arise.

It has been my privilege to serve you in this matter.

Regards,

Dave Aboulafia

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memorial Day

Dear fellow handlers, 

On Monday May 27th, we pause as a nation to honor and remember the heroic men and women who served bravely to protect our freedom and lost their lives in service to our country. We are all eternally in their debt for the sacrifice they've made.

Negotiations have begun to move forward with MSA. Earlier this month, we spent several hours with MSA's representatives and attorneys discussing proposals to improve working conditions for the handlers. The proposals included $35 an hour for all handlers, the reinstatement of the expense stipend with an eventual increase to $1000 a month, and guaranteed shelter and breaks for EDC teams at every post. We are fighting hard to make management realize that you are the face of MSA, you are the ones keeping MSA's contracts alive, and you are the ones keeping them in business!

In addition, we've been getting reports across the countries of field supervisors inventing new policies and rules and disciplining handlers for violating them. When your MSA supervisors invent mysterious unwritten rules, always ask where it is written, when it was enacted, and who enacted it? Then call us! These imaginary rules and policies do nothing but demoralize the men and women who work so proudly next to their EDCs and the only way to stop it is to hold those doing it accountable.

In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to each and every MSA employee who has served or currently served in the United States Armed Forces. God bless you and God bless America.

Bill Beaury and your Union team.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Service Contract Act Payments

Good evening,

Over the next few days, many of you will be receiving a letter from the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division's Enforcement Bureau. These letters will inform you how much is owed to you by MSA Security for failure to properly compensate handlers who have worked on Federal Government contracts covered by the Service Contract Act.

The investigation was initiated by our Union Secretary, Tom Brown, after first bringing it to the attention of MSA's executives. You can read more about that here.

The Department of Labor has obtained the full amount owed to the handlers and the funds are on deposit with the U.S. Treasury. To obtain the funds owed to you, you must fill out the WH-60 form and follow the instructions included in the envelope. If you have any questions, contact us at info@nopaymsa.com.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Letter from an Anonymous Handler

Below is a comment left by an anonymous handler on a recent post. 
We thought it appropriate to share.

"Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization and mission performance. The leader lacks concern for others and the climate of the organization which leads to short and long term negative effects. The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves". Forbes Magazine

The above quote is taken from an article written about the U.S. Army, but it captures exactly what has happened at MSA Security and the kind of leadership we have been subjected to as employees. If I have to read one more time that MSA can't discuss it's canine policies because it is a matter of national security, I think I'll vomit. They discuss the policies when it suits them, when they are sitting on a sound stage with Megyn Kelly, but they go radio silent when confronted with a simple question about Mattie. We all know that the decision to send Mattie to Texas was vindictive and an attempt to hurt Seamus and his family more. What kind of treacherous person working at MSA makes that call? Glen? I would think it has to be Glen and he makes all the decisions now, no matter how cruel and destructive they may be. What happened to those great leaders we had from law enforcement? They sit on their hands while a CEO with no law enforcement/military/security experience runs roughshod over us. It really is sickening, but it gives us a clear picture of what happens in the executive suite at 9 Murray, and shows what a dim view they have of us. I don't think I would be going out on a limb by saying the owners of MSA Security, PWP are very smart people - highly educated, but are they completely blind to the reality that is MSA Security now? Doesn't one owner ever think how bad the optics are on taking Mattie away from a combat veteran and his family, telling him to shut-up and maybe he'd get her back and then twisting the knife by sending the dog to Texas? Let's not kid ourselves, the only reason Mattie was shipped off to Texas was to punish Seamus because he stood up for himself and his family and he believed that MSA was capable of doing the right thing. After a few tours downrange with bad guys shooting at him, it was not likely that Seamus could be bullied by Mike and Glen, but they tried their best. I think at one point they even told him to "get control of your wife". Very sad. Why wouldn't PWP call Glen and Mike and all the executives and directors at MSA and ask a very simple question "What the hell is going on"? "How did we get to this point"? That is what a company that cared about it's employees would do. Perhaps PWP only cares about money - and as long as MSA brings money in, they have no regard for the employees, the dogs and the once great reputation MSA enjoyed.

Glen and Mike you had a chance with Mattie to be generous, kind and magnanimous. You should have allowed Mattie to retire. It would have sent a message to all of us that it was time to heal, time to move forward, time to work together in the best interests of MSA Security. Instead you took this as an opportunity to be petty, harsh, cruel and vindictive. Your ego and arrogance, your contempt for us was never more obvious. You lost the Union fight, you lost in court so you decided to use Seamus as an example, to show us just how tough you are, but you only demonstrated how weak you really are. Business as usual at MSA Security. We know the truth and now the public and our clients are beginning to know the truth and see MSA for what it really is. Let's see what happens May 1st, and if anyone from PWP has the courage to come down from their office and hear what we have to say. Bring Mattie Home. UNION - count me in!