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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Message from Chicago

Below is a message from a handler in Chicago. It would seem Glen is back in Chicago. We hope he enjoys the deep dish pizza. If you have a message or story about MSA you'd like to share with everyone, email us at info@nopaymsa.com. You identity will always be kept confidential.

I am currently an employee of MSA, hesitant to send any emails because fear of retaliation. MSA has proven their power over me a few times. Glen is making his rounds again in Chicago today and continues to refer to you all as the "guys working out of the garage." I guess he forgets that he used to park rentals in one. Teams in Chicago are all for UFK9 but maybe two handlers. Many handlers here in Chicago have been forced to work OT with quick turn arounds. Dennis Hughes runs Chicago like a prison and treats his teams horribly, forgetting that he was one of us before. Every handler he has hired, he has fired (4). Then there are the handler's that have left because of him. Favoritism continues on a daily basis, followed with mistakes and errors. MSA is not the same, I look forward to being part of the union. There is so much more wrong going on but I fear disclosing it would reveal my identity and I have learned to trust no one.



  1. Well since one of my "fellow Chicago handlers" have decided to speak for ALL Chicago handlers, I think a response is due. First, the common about All Chicago handlers are for UFK9. Did you speak with everyone in Chicago? Cause, I don't remember talking too or give my opinion to anyone! So please don't assume, that YOU know when, YOU DON'T!

    Second, the comment about "Many handlers here in Chicago have been forced to work OT with quick turn arounds". All, I can say is IF YOU DON'T WANT THE OT, DECLINE IT SO I CAN TAKE IT!

    Third, the comment about "Chicago being run like a prison". Since, I can't speak for everyone, so all I'll say is, do I always get the post I want, no. But guess what, not everything goes the way we want! And some times we must go out of our way to help out! Because, if we ALL don't work together, we ALL won't have to worry about working at all! Here is something to think about, is it fair that some Chicago handler can't work certain posts, because customers don't want them at their location? I, don't. At any other job, if an employee was not able to work for a certain customer, they would be fired.

    Fourth, the comment about "Every handler he has hired, he has fired (4)". Again, NOT true. I'm not sure of how many handlers were hired in Chicago. But all I can say is, I'M STILL HERE. And I was hired by Dennis Hughes.

    Fifth, the comment about, "Favoritism continues on a daily basis". What does that mean? Does that mean, good employees are rewarded for being team players? Or does that mean, that bad employees are being rewarded at the expense of those who are willing to do whatever to help out? I would say, good employees are being rewarded for representing MSA in a positive manner. Each and every time, we show at a post wearing a MSA uniform, we should want to appear and preform in a professional manner. I personally take pride in my appearance and performance while on post. We all have to remember, someone is ALAWAYS watching what going on at our posts!

    These posts should be about the pros and cons, for a union vote. Not to opening complain about how bad YOU think YOU have it. Each of us, are entitled to vote any way we choose.

    Oh and one more thing. When calling someone out by their name, YOU should have the courtesy to post YOUR name! Just sayin...

    Bob Hynek,
    Still employed Chicago handler

  2. I agree with Bob 100%. Whomever wrote the post about "ALL" Chicago handlers are for the union, does NOT speak for me. I for one, voted for no union in the last election, and I plan on doing the same in the upcoming election.

  3. There is a lot to be said in response to this scathing post, some of which has already been said so I won’t be redundant. I’m writing this because I would come to the defense of any supervisor or fellow employee if they were being unjustifiably called out.

    First off, trying to use the consequences of one’s piss poor work ethic as a way to piggyback on why a union should be formed is flat out manipulation! Initially, I thought this site was meant to discuss the forming of a union, give out some positive information, let us Handlers take it in, then vote for what we think is best when the time comes.

    The job here in Chicago is pretty basic: Come to work on time, wear the proper uniform, don’t be a no show, don’t get banned from sites. When Handlers choose not to abide by that then there will be consequences. Other Handlers will be “forced” to work overtime, post assignments will become limited, hours will become erratic, and as a team we will ALL suffer for it. These are not premeditated actions of a “prison guard” type supervisor.

    I’m sure these things are well documented by MSA and no union on earth is going to fix or make life better for a Handler who chooses to not play by the rules. I have personally had to cover for and suffered the consequences MULTIPLE times because of this.

    Are the Handlers and Supervisor perfect here in Chicago...of course not, but there is no plot against anyone. I have said NO plenty of times to overtime, so if this were a prison I would certainly be “jailed.”

    As I stated before, I am not anti-union in a hateful way. I will be honest and say that unions aren’t my cup of tea, but if the Handlers vote union them I’m all in and fully support the decision...that’s what democracy is all about. I just don’t think it’s fair or right though to anonymously call someone out by name for issues that directly relate to one’s own work ethic.


    Chris Moritz

    1. You make some good points Chris.

      This sites main purpose is to convey to the handlers why a union is necessary to improve MSA. It's secondary function is to serve as a place for all of us to discuss anything and everything related to our jobs. Some of us choose to do it anonymously and some choose to make their names known.

      In the not so distant past (I can only speak for NYC) if a handler had an issue with how they were treated or thought something should change, they were told to quit if they didn't like it. In extreme circumstances, they were "laid-off" regardless of available work and had their dogs taken from them. The handlers MSA did this to were not handlers with piss poor work ethics. They just had the audacity to speak up.

      This site gives us the ability to tell MSA how we really feel without fear of retaliation. They actively monitor the posts and the comments and discuss it in meetings. We will never censor or delete comments. If you hate us, you're free to tell us. If you love us, that's ok to.

    2. I hope I wasn’t painting a broad brush when I said “piss poor work ethics.” I only speak to which I personally know, which is why I can make a statement like that. All apologies too if my impression of this site was misunderstood.

      If the union prevails I hope you guys take some time to come out to Chicago and get to know us a little. I truly believe you would see it’s nothing like what that poster has claimed, which is why it upset some of us.

      P.S. I’m kinda starting to love you guys a little...but don’t tell anyone! ��

    3. We'll take the love anytime! Glen wrote another mean letter today. He finally outdid the letter where he tried implicate us in destruction of property crimes. Thanks for everything Chris.

  4. I have worked for MSA for quite some time now. I've been reading and analyzing the comments by pro and anti union comments and quite frankly, every handler has a right to vote however they choose. You Chicago boys are lucky to have not of had any bad experiences with the corporate goons at 9 Murray Street and your immediate team of management. Your stroke of luck does not represent the horde of wrongs that MSA leadership has imposed on MOST NOT ALL handlers.

    I've experienced handlers being written up just because they were not allowed to drive into NYC due to a severe snowstorm while under threat of arrest if found driving under the governor imposed state of emergency. I have worked a shift for 24 hrs straight and only get PAID 12 hrs out of the 24 because a well known site did not want to pay MSA for mistakes done by 9 Murray Street. I have seen write ups imposed on handlers just because they were delayed driving in NYC to their 2nd post after working 12 hrs at the 1st one, all because of local protests and gridlock. My overtime rates are almost never accurate and no one at the office wants to fix it! So you make sure you have your eyeballs on your paystubs because a prayer to the all beloved God won't fix idiotic mistakes by 9 Murray Street. I have had my hours cut just because I called out sick at one time. I have gained back hours after agreeing to a 18 hour shift all while standing on my feet throughout the entire time. I have gotten sick from constant exposure to toxic chemicals and dust from demolition work and exhaust fumes at various loading docks.

    The K9 and I was almost run over by vehicles and heavy equipment numerous times because clients "are always right". I have developed rashes in my ass crack due to the intense humidity of swamp ass while standing and walking under 95-100 degree weather in the city. Before MSA, I have worked for various security firms and unfortunately, they are all the same including MSA. MSA uses you and abuses you while charging clients over 120.00 per handler per hour. MSA used to be the go-to employer for security work, but unfortunately it isn't anymore. Current leadership strategy and motivation seeping out of 9 Murray Street is nothing but disgusting. A Bed Bugs Detection Handler makes more than a handler seeking to detect explosives at MSA. Various smaller Explosive Detection K9 firms makes more than handlers at MSA and are also well respected and taken care of. I am normally don't support unions for security companies. Just look at Allied Universal's 32 BJ union. They are horrendous! But due to my experiences at MSA, a union is NEEDED and UFK9 will have my vote!!! Again, some handlers have been lucky to avoid the common circumstances involving handlers and leadership but a CONSIDERABLE number have not!

    1. I too remember the threats during that snow storm and the guys written up for not illegally driving on the roads. Several guys were in accidents trying to get to work and they were written up nonetheless. I remember a certain Director telling us we had to come in and telling the retired cops to flash their credentials if they got stopped. I also remember years ago when MSA would spring for a hotel room when the weather got that bad. I too have suffered greatly from swamp ass... Go Union!!!

  5. I have to agree with Bob and Chris. I did not vote for the union the first time and I will not vote the union this time either. So I guess that makes 3. Having said that, if a union was to be formed I will support them and their efforts in making MSA a great place to work.
    Lets look at your claims of forced OT and fearful to deny it for fear of retaliations.  Negative there is always someone in Chicago who will gladly take your OT. Name 1 time or give an example of when you denied OT and there was a negative repercussion against you. You can't Dennia Hughes is a bigger person than that and will always try to accommodate his handlers
      Now lets look at your claim of running this like a prison and treats his teams horribly. Again BS because you dont give examples.  Lets look at this for a moment.  How many handlers have been removed from job sites per the client?. I know we have handlers here that have been. So what was their punishment if you will. They are moved to a different site essentially causing a handler who does his job properly to be transfered. How is that fair to the handler who is in compliance. Its not. So who is being punished now. In the real world if you can not perform your job properly you are terminated.   Also name one time Dennis Hughes has not try to accomodate his handlers when PTO time is requested especially at the last minute. Name the last time your pay was incorrect or you did not get reimbursed.  Please again give me an example of being treated poorly. You can't. Because Chicago is still small enough where Dennis does his best to accomodate everyone. And name one time if he did make a mistake he did not immediately correct and notify the handler of said mistake
    Lets addreas your hiring and firing of 4 handlers. Dennis has hired many more than just 4 handlers and almost are still with us. Yes one or two may have been terminated for just cause and maybe 1 left to pursue greener pastures. But your numbers are way off.
    Again elaborate on favoritism and miatakes. Dennis does his best to distribute hours evenly and treats each handler with the utmost repect. You have to remember shifts are 6,8.5,10, and 12 hours. Just by that you should be able to tell that hours wont be exactly even but darn close. But again some handlers always get more hours due to some handlers denying ot (without fear of retaliations).  What mistakes are being made.  Again Dennis is the first one to contact handlers inform them of a miatake that he may have made and the correction to fix said mistake.
    The bottom line is this: union or no union VOTE and lets move on. anonymous you claimed alot but did not back it up. It looks like you are trying to poke the bear or gain sympathy with your false claims. Maybe you should look in the mirror and see that you are the problem and quit trying to drag everyone else down with you. Again these are my views and I am speaking for me only
    Craig Urbanczyk Chicago


    First, I'm sorry to hear about the swamp ass, but I don't think ANY union can help with that issue. LOL It's terrible that you guys in NYC have all those problems. But what's happening is one region's problems are being spread throughout the whole company. It's like a sliver that's not taken care of early. It starts to fester and before you know it, it a full blown problem that has spread. A festering problem in NYC, has now spread though out the MSA K9 universe. Is it fair that NYC has those problems, NO. But it's also not fair that the rest of the MSA K9 teams are being dragged into this problem.

    If the vote goes for the union, what will happen if MSA does not agree to the union offers? Strike? I'll go out on a limb and say, there we be more people than you think crossing lines. Than what? Be on strike for a month or more? Well, I hate to say it but, there are other cut throat k9 companies out there just waiting for a chance to get their foot in the door. That means, we don't have anything to bargain for with MSA because MSA's contract are gone. Which means the union and all its members are over.


    I supported my family for over 23 years with the help of a union. A union, that could not strike. Which means, one way or another the contract would be agreed upon. In that case, you were paid while the arbitration was going on. This is a different case. If we are forced to strike, we get NO pay. Think about that for a minute. I have a pension, which I can live on. How many of you can say that? I'd say not many. These are things that needs to be thought about, before a vote.

    My issue is that, I was never asked about wanting a union prior to being told that a vote was being held. That being said, who decided that one group woud speak for the rest of us?

    Whoever made that decision pulled every MSA handler and their families, who possibly didnt have any issues with MSA, into this problem. Again, NOT FAIR.

    There should have been some type of vote prior to taking this before the federal government!

    AGAIN, I'm sorry that the NYC guys have these problems! But now those problem could be forced upon every other MSA k9 handlers around the country.

    The truth is that NO one can guarantee that they can make working for MSA better! NO ONE!

    I only have one more thing to say.

    Remember, "The grass is not always greener on the other side"...

    1. Thank you for your comments Rob.

      To be honest, none of us had thought about striking until Glen had mentioned it in a letter. What we're asking for isn't crazy in anyway and MSA is more than capable of implementing it. Much of it is required by law and implementing it would bring MSA within compliance of Federal labor law.

      We'd love to have a mediator involved if negotiations break down with MSA. We don't think it will get to that point but no one can predict the future. Glen seems to act like our demands are set in stone. We are familiar with labor negotiations and have no problem discussing different courses of action with MSA.

      The only way to file a union petition was to obtain a showing of interest from at least 30% of the handlers. MSA asked for all handlers to be included in one bargaining unit because of our similar training, pay, and interchangeability. NLRB guidelines supported their request. We could have fought it but we choose instead to have all handlers involved. Please don't think that because many of us are in NYC that you can't be involved in union decisions. We need everyone to give input for this to work. You're more than welcome to be a part of this, all you have to do is volunteer.

      I hope this answers some of your questions and thank you for the comments.

    2. I don't think any of us want to strike, a lot of us care more about our clients than we do anyone at Murray Street. Plus it would take a lot for us to go on strike and its the last thing the company would want.

  7. I just have a quick question ? I am guessing that the K9 handlers that are voting NO to the Federation of K9 Handlers union are asking not to have any involvement in the MSA Lawsuit ? Since the Lawsuit was started by some of the members who are trying to create a union and the NO voters do not want to be associated with this group . I know this is a class action law suite but maybe there is a way they can opt out of it if they are in it .

    1. The silence about them dropping out of the lawsuit is deafening.

    2. Ok lets put some noise in your ears. First off I have no intentions of opting out of the class action law suit. Why? This is a win guaranteed for all handlers with MSA. The union does not have anything to do with this .MSA violated Federal law and still is by not compensating handlers for off duty time .again it is the law. I personally don't care how many hours, days, weeks, or years thus takes because that is only raisng my portion of the settlement. Again federal law violation equals win for all. Unions guarantees us nothing. No brainer. As you know anonymous. Because we probably have worked together several times I am retired LEO. I was a member of the PBA a union. (Trying not to be smart just trying to help you out) Towards the end of my career our contract was about to expire. So a few months prior, the PBA, the chief of police, and city officials attempted to negotiate a new contract. After several attempt neither side could agree and our contract expired .Therefore everthing was frozen. Eventually our case went to court. At the request of the judge both sides made several more attempts to agree to a contract with no success. As a result the judge eventually ruled in favor of the city. Luckily the city did not hold a grudge and allowed input from the PBA. A contract was provided not a great one but still a contract that worked a bit .but in almoat 2 years working without a contract I lost potential raises or steps and potential other beneficial benefits and we were also not given any back pay lost. I guess what i am telling you a union does not gurantee us anything. This federal suit will. I will again vote no for the union. Anonymous you should count your blessings on how good we have it in Chicago. I feel bad for my fellow handlers in New York and wish them the best . right now anonymous you are probably saying we are like New York and it is bad here. But since you fail or refuse to provide examples it appears you are juat trying to stir the pot . I respect your comments but you do not provide an examples and therefore you appear to me and me only as someone trying to gain sympathy for yourself because no one else here will give you any .again this my opinion not anyone elses. Until u can provide examples of all the negatives here in Chicago and provide my with something to sway my vote for union I am still voting NO
      Craig Urbanczyk Chicago

    3. What does one have to do with the other? NO UNION, has done anything with or cor the lawsuit. And to even bring that up is stupid.

    4. Looks at the posts on this page about the lawsuit. Everyone who started the union is a named plaintiff in the lawsuit. Seems like they have a lot to do with each other. I'm sure you didn't know MSA tried to pay them all off in the beginning. They refused and told them if you want to settle, pay everyone what you owe them.

  8. Sure it's a real tough guy move to put your name there when your voting no..lol.. I hope Glen hooks you up before he vanishes into the night..

  9. Me too
    Craig Urbanczyk Chicago

  10. What does one have to do with the other ? I think the person might be saying the people who started the law suite are the same people who want to protect us from the company wrong doings with a union . I guess New Yorkers try to watch out for each other . Not a stupid statement . Is your name on the law suite that they started and spent there personal time talking to the lawyers . Yeh these guys from New York sound like there in it for themselves .

  11. If this union is voted in, it SHOULD be ran like the COP. There is a Grand Lodge and each area should have it's own Lodge. I already know what your gonna say. One Lodge covering all areas is bad. Each area has it's own problems and benefits. That way each area is represented equally. Or the negotiating team should have a rep from each area. Not doing this is a recipe for disaster. And I hate to say it, but we already have handlers from one area bad mouthing handlers from another area. Making it appear that one area may have control of another area faith, with possibly not the best interest of that others areas needs. Bottom line is, if this doesn't work, the union, what's next? Remember, the 30% that voted to have this started where NOT a even pool from ALL MSA handler across the country and overseas.