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Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Letter from Ron Dietz

Below is a letter from Ron Dietz, an EDC Handler from Minneapolis. He's asked for it to be posted. We've included our response to his questions below.

I have a few questions that I would like addressed by the union. I started MSA in August of 2017 a few months before Glen was brought in. During the training they informed the entire class MSA was having growing pains and recent issues have caused bad blood between the handlers and the administration. My understanding this was address in classes before and after the class I attended. The New York employees were well informed about the scheduling issues and informed they would be bounced around from location to location with little or no notice. It was made clear if this was not something they wanted to deal with, the position was not going to be something they should further pursue. We were informed of pending litigation between MSA and handlers over pay issues. I, along with my classmates, made the decision to continue with the training and maintain our employment after the current issues were addressed. My understanding is all previous Presidents and CEO’s of MSA have been retired law enforcement officers. As we all know government and private entities have vast differences in how they run their day to day activities. It was clear to me the information addressed in the training was due to a law enforcement administration having control over the company. This was nothing new to me after my seventeen year career in law enforcement.

I met Glen briefly in Anaheim California in 2017. As law enforcement often does they told us to participate in the dog and pony show in front of Glen and make it look good. I walked over shook his had listened to a small speech that ended with Glen making the statement we have all heard a hundred times before “I have an open door if there is anything anyone needs to call me.” I walked away thinking this was nothing I haven’t heard before.

Prior to last years Super Bowl the Minneapolis handlers were told on a number of occasions we were going to be busy over that week and not to plan on doing anything but working. Two of us cleared our schedules rescheduling vacations and taking vacations from full-time jobs. With the Super Bowl approaching within weeks, I contacted the supervisor in charge of event and asked them about the schedule. I was informed MSA was not going to use the Minneapolis handlers but were going to fly in replacements as they didn’t want to interfere with all the work in Minneapolis, keep in mind we have 50 hours a week we split between three handlers, there is not a lot going on in Minneapolis. More conversations took place about the stupidity of not using local handlers in a major event happening in their own city. I resorted back to the statement Glen made to the handlers in Anaheim. I made the call to his office. I received a voicemail and as I was leaving the message I was thinking to myself, I will never hear back from this guy. With in minutes after leaving the message I received a call from Glen. I informed him of the situation and the stupidity behind not using local handlers. Glen listened and stated he would look into the matter. Again I hung up the phone thinking to myself this will have the typical law enforcement out come of nothing. Later that evening handlers received an email with instructions on how to obtain credentials to work the Super Bowl events. Again to my surprise I received a call from Glen the following day informing me the situation was addressed and the Minneapolis handlers will be placed on the schedule. Glen assured me the issues would be addressed in a meeting and the way they staff events would be looked at and addressed for future events. I was told if there were any further issues to notify him. 

When the week finally arrived the schedule came out. I was loaded down with five hours to the other handlers forty - eighty hours. I contacted the supervisor who directed me to another. I spoke with the other and received a negative response and was basically told to deal with it. I again called Glen and informed him of the situation. I could tell Glen was less then impressed with the way the situation was being handled. He assured me it would be handled and it was. Minneapolis handlers had been placed on the schedule with hours comparable to the others. After the Super Bowl to my surprise Glen had called me and asked if everything played out as it should have. Glen apologized about the entire situation and informed me of his plans and the direction he wanted to grow the company. To my surprise Glen reaches out with a phone call, text, or email about once a month just to touch base and ask if everything is going good or if anything is needed in MN. I have voiced concerns about situations other handlers have had with the company and I can honestly say each and every complaint, concern, or suggested change I have brought to his attention has been noticeably addressed. 

I find myself questioning the union efforts after the dealings I have had with Glen. I ponder if Glen has been given a reasonable opportunity to make the changes in the company that are needed. Is Glen being held responsible for the short comings of the prior administration of MSA? As most of us were in law enforcement we have that us verses the administration attitude. Has the union creators thought about suspending the efforts and allowing him an acceptable period of time to address the issues? After reading the letter from yesterday its obvious to me he is willing to make changes but the question is are you willing to allow him the opportunity to do so?

Our Response:

Hi Ron,

Thank you for the letter. Not having steady schedules is the least of our issues. The conflict between handlers and management has been going on for close to ten years. It started after Mike Stapleton left. The pay issues they spoke about are pretty cut and dry. MSA is required to compensate us for off hours care of our K9s. It's already been decided in federal court. MSA had been approached about the issue in the past. It didn't go very well thus making a lawsuit necessary for them to obey labor law.

When this started, we had no issue with Glen. The union wasn't started to attack Glen or MSA. When Glen sent emails to everyone implying we were involved in criminal activity and describing the handlers involved in the union as disgruntled employees, we took issue with that and responded. If a union is voted in, we will have no issue negotiating with Glen for improvements to our quality of life. Glen and the union want the exact same thing. Happy handlers that want to come to work, are proud to represent MSA, and are compensated fairly for the work we do.

The union was started to give handlers an opportunity to negotiate with MSA for a better life. When handlers in the past had attempted to negotiate on their own, they were told to quit if they were unhappy. If Glen is committed to changing the way MSA operates, we're all for it. What concerns us is the way Glen talks about negotiating with us. He's quick to mention strikes, lowering everyones pay, and taking our dogs away from us. He postures himself as if he's defending MSA from some outrageous demands from a foreign enemy. He's quick to target Bill Beaury and Joe Nacarlo, handlers that were integral to MSA after 9/11, yet refuses to acknowledge that a majority of the union board is made up of current handlers that work just a few blocks away from MSA HQ. More importantly, many of our demands are things MSA is required to give us by law. We hope he realizes that negotiating with us is not only good for the handlers, but it's good for MSA as well.
Sorry for the rambling, on to your questions.

Is Glen being held responsible for the short comings of the prior administration of MSA?
Legally, Yes. Glen has been added as a defendant in multiple lawsuits. While he is new to MSA, that doesn't excuse his legal responsibility for their actions. Once he joined MSA, their actions became his actions as well. He's free to implement changes at MSA at anytime to bring them in compliance with labor law.

Has the union creators thought about suspending the efforts and allowing him an acceptable period of time to address the issues?
Believe it or not, yes we have. We decided the election would be the best way to find out if handlers want to give Glen time to fix MSA or want to try and fix it via collective bargaining. If a union is voted down, another petition can't be filed for a full year. We have no desire to fight the outcome of the election. If handlers don't want a union, so be it.

After reading the letter from yesterday its obvious to me he is willing to make changes but the question is are you willing to allow him the opportunity to do so?
I'm sure Glen is willing to make changes but are they changes that are fair to handlers? We've already posted that right this very moment, Glen is capable of implementing compensation for off hours training of our dogs. We've posted the applicable case law from the NLRB and sent it to Glen. MSA had a plan several months ago that they wanted to implement in April to compensate handlers for off hours training. Per NLRB case law, because this plan was created before the petition was filed, Glen can implement it right now without fear of us filing an unfair labor practice charge. Glen sent an email granting benefits to MSA employees that are not EDC Handlers. It included a slight increase to PTO, life insurance, compensation for maintaining special licenses, MSA recognizing Veterans Day as a holiday, and three bereavement days. These benefits were directed at MSAs Operatives. They are just as upset as handlers at how they are treated. They have been receiving the same pay for over 20 years, just like the handlers. These benefits are nice, but it's nothing but fluff. All the Operatives ever wanted was a raise yet this is what they receive.

If Glen wants to come to the table and discuss what his plans are to make handlers happy we will respond by presenting our plans. I'm sure there will be much we agree on. What ever we don't agree on, we will negotiate for an outcome that is both fair to the handlers and not harmful to MSA. After all, most of us work here to.


  1. Come work in NY. They will work you to death and you will be wishing you had a life. Big deal, he gave you hours during the Super Bowl I am sure it saved the company thousands not having to fly and lodge handlers. I wish I could split 50 hours with 2 other guys, otherwise I wouldn't have retired.

  2. Ron, as a fellow retired cop trust me when I say what he's doing to us in NY he will soon be doing nationwide when he thinks he can get away with it. Bro, the man is here for his own monetary benefit. I personally hate all this BS going on. I just want to work, love and care for my partner but something has to be done to reign in murray st. They dont give 2 $hits about you and your K9. We're making them rich and the retired cops who do work up there forgot where they came from and are not nothing but suits who are laughing all the way to the bank on our backs. Just my 2cents.

  3. This guy is a snake oil salesman, I am sure whatever decisions he makes is in the best interest of himself and the owners of the company. Don't believe for one second that he wants to help any of us. If the union gets shot down and the lawsuit gets settled MSA will be sold ASAP. Then he will move on to the next company, this is what he does. People need to be smarter about this.

  4. Glen was the first one to bring up strikes now it's all he can talk about. Clearly he needs a new set of lawyers to tell him what to say. These union guys keep throwing laws and evidence at him and all he can talk about is taking our dogs away. How about you start paying us for training like those two geniuses from scheduling told us you were going to do. If you want to beat this union, pay us what you owe us.

  5. Remember this is the same company that wanted to make us sleep in pup tents and put the dogs on wooden pallets in a horse barn not so long ago. Ron don't be seduced by a couple of phone calls from Glen, look at all the facts and make an informed decision. I can say with all sincerity that you are expendable and MSA would cut you loose in a heartbeat if it served their purpose. They want to divide and weaken the employees. Ron you being former LE like the rest of us - don't you ever wonder why a premier security company with a great reputation would hire a man as President with no previous law enforcement, military or security experience? If he applied for a job as a handler he could not be hired because he does not meet the minimum qualifications - yet he's okay to be President and now CEO? Laughable. It does not make sense to any rational thinking person why he was hired to run a security company unless it's to prepare it for a sale. We should all be wary of the management people who used to be handlers like Vinny or Mike Mallon or recently hired supervisors and ask ourselves why are they so dead set against the union? They have an agenda and I'm sure it's monetary. The sales and office people will tell clients anything to sell a dog - and because they say MSA is the best does not make it true. If I was a current client or a potential client I would be asking management some very serious and hard questions about the current state of turmoil MSA finds itself in and can the dogs really do what you say they can, because I'd have my doubts. If I was a member of the Board of Directors I would want to know why it's come to this and have someone be accountable for why a company like MSA who put such pride in their employees now finds such a large percentage of the employees so miserable. If they looked at the work force they would see it is made up of highly respected and decorated former police officers and combat Veterans, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard, not disgruntled current or former employees. Just look at how Glen has referred to Joe and Bill. Ron these guys were there on 9/11, look at the iconic picture of Bill minutes after the Tower came down around him, he's a hero and so are many others who work at MSA. Management will try and divide us into two groups - cops and military because they think the military guys are just happy to have a job and will be more compliant - don't let them do that. We are all expendable to them. Stay strong and stay united, whether you are in CA, MN, Chicago or New York. You think they'd back you up if a client complained? No way. It makes no sense that if the current owners and management really cared about MSA and keeping it in the security business they would hire someone with Glen's background. No Chiefs, Generals, Admirals or Security professionals were available? I bet there would have been a line of qualified people jumping at the opportunity. I'd be interested in knowing how many people were interviewed for the job of President, or was Glen put here to oversee a sale of the company and walk away with a windfall? The strength of MSA Security has always been the employees who are out their in the field at all hours of the day or night, who are cold in the winter and hot in the summer and shoulder a very significant responsibility. You would think if MSA really cared about the clients and did not think the dog teams were just smoke and mirrors they would make more of an investment in the well-being of the handlers. Read Glen's latest letter where he says in every paragraph "except the EDC handlers". What a weak display. Trust me Ron, he cares nothing about you.

    1. Glen's latest letter outlining his so called improvement of benefits for hourly employees is a complete JOKE! 1 hour for every 25 hours worked? Absolutely pathetic! His words "Except for EDC Handlers" says it all. Those words sealed the deal and confirmed my expectations from this circus administration. The leadership does NOT care about any of their K9 handlers. This is what makes this situation so mind boggling. The handlers are the face of MSA and the instigators of success for the company. However, the leadership has knowingly neglected their core workforce. Do not get persuaded by the crap that Glen has been spewing. Glen is a crook, a janitor in a suit with no security, law enforcement, or military experience. How in the hell does one apply to become a VP and then CEO of a well known and reputable security firm with no related experience? This clown of a leader is a natural born white collar criminal. All you have to do is research! There is public information about him involving his past dealings that would make your asshole pucker! A white collar criminal with a checkered past involving a severe financial data breach which resulted in bankruptcy of his former company. I would not trust anyone from 9 Murray Street. We really do not have anything to lose by voting for a union except for establishing respect and fairness. The only ones that do have a lot to lose are the Muppets at 9 Murray Street. I've been with the company for a while and I am already at the end of my ropes with all the negative experiences I have come across. No one will have your back if a client complains because your dog can't jump 20 feet in the air to sniff out a helium balloon (Yes, that complaint has happened). I know one thing for sure, if no Union is voted in, I am done by the end of the year. I will leave the security industry for good because the MSA leadership is not the only crock of shit out there neglecting, using and abusing their core employees.

      Every security firm is a crock of shit and if clients were smart enough to ask the right questions, we probably wouldn't be here. If I was a client looking or K9 handlers, I would want to know about the level of morale, benefits, pay, retention rate, and future outlook because its really a simple formula. Employees who are respected and treated with fairness, are employees who produce happy clients! However, we have a leadership that only cares about lining their pockets. While the salaried employees receive a better benefits package including 16 days of vacation after the first year, we get a measly 1 hour for every 30 hrs worked. If we call out sick, they take it out of our vacation days... Now what kind of shit is that? and they won't even raise our stipends to the national standard for K9 handlers? If you really feel that Glen has your best interest, then I truly feel sorry for you.

      I have extensive knowledge of corporate security mechanisms. I can tell you right now that there is a very high probability that Glen and the rest of the leadership has instructed their RIA Center at the office (Research Intelligence Analyses) to comb through all open sources related to any threads and websites involving the proposed union while feeding him information that the administration can exploit and divide us. How do I know? I used to do that very work in the past in a corporate security setting while the leadership attempted to stop a unionization effort. So beware folks! They are listening!