The following is an unsolicited anonymous letter from a fellow MSA K9 handler. They asked for it to be posted for all to read. If you have a message to management that you'd like posted here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your identity will always be kept confidential.
I have been with MSA for a number of years and, like you, love working with my K9. As a retired police officer with many years of experience working and training dogs I am shocked that we are all forgetting the most important commodity, our dogs. Do any of you actually believe our new CEO, Glen Kucera, has more interest in our dogs than he does the almighty buck? Our dogs are outside in extreme temperatures night and day for hours. Handlers go from one 8 or 12 hour assignment to another, sometimes with only a couple of hours sleep in their car. Are they both capable to perform their task to the fullest ability? Are not the lives of the people they were hired to protect and themselves at great risk? MSA issues guidelines with regard to their extreme weather protocol but when the handler tries to keep both him/herself warm or cool they are admonished by MSA. At what point is this considered cruelty to our K9?
The individuals who are trying to establish a union are highly decorated police officers, not “disgruntled former employees”. They seek change for every one of you, those individuals who work in the trenches with them whether you are in California, Maine, Texas, Florida or any other location. They know what it is to work hand-in-hand, shoulder to shoulder with a total stranger who may wear a different uniform or be from a different part of our country but are there to perform a task for the benefit of everyone. They worked on 9-11 at this countries most horrific event and no-one was treated differently. Through their tenure at MSA they’ve gone from praise to despair. They’ve seen problems and have been chastised for bringing them to the attention of management. They know we are all in this fight together and together we will win.
I have read several concerns from our handlers in California. While you have a valid concern, there is no reason for you to believe your salaries will be lowered after a union is voted in. In fact, you have more of a chance that our present CEO, Glen Kucera, will lower your salaries if a union is not voted in. If that were to occur, what would be your recourse without union representation? We work for a company who can lower or raise your salary, grant you benefits or remove them, or terminate your employment at any time, for any reason without recourse. You serve at the will of MSA!
As of right now we all work for a company, who placed, Glen Kucera, the former head of an Arizona janitorial supply company for rental cars in charge and need I remind you under what conditions he was terminated, HE LIED!!!! Have any of you actually seen any benefits solely to you, as a handler, from the time he took his original position at MSA? Those benefits he boasts so proudly of? Or, were they benefits put in place for senior management and other specific personnel and they just threw us a bone? He allowed Holland LaPlant to single handedly ruin the lives of many handlers forcing them to quit while others had their beloved K9 removed from their lives forever. This done without any remorse or regard to the dog or the person whose life they ruined. This, my brothers and sisters, is what happens when you do not have union representation. He allowed Mr. LaPlant to cut hours of handlers who stood up to his discriminatory tactics or complained to higher authorities. Handlers whose hours were cut by Mr. LaPlant have still not had those hours returned while others are still working in excess of 60 hours a week. This, my brothers and sisters, is what happens when you don’t have a union.
I’ve seen CEOs and Vice Presidents of corporations while they prepare for the sale of their company, after board approval. I’ve watched the actions of those CEOs and Vice Presidents when the board agrees to a “merger” which has the mark of a sale on it. Believe me, this is it! As you have been reading, the higher the value of a sale means a greater payday for those in the positions of CEO and/or Vice President. Let’s face facts, do you think they can or would actually tell anyone outside their circle of trust that the company is about to be sold a year or more from now? NO, they couldn’t. Do you still want to believe Glen Kucera? When you’re out of work maybe he can get you a good price on a used rental car.
I urge each of you, no matter where you work for MSA as a K9 handler, for your benefit, the benefit or your families, and the benefit of our K9 companions, vote for the United Federation of K9 Handlers. We are all in this together, hand-in-hand, fighting the same fight.