SoBe Security Guard Fired over Interview with New Times

Last week, we brought you the story of South Beach security guards who are trying to unionize for better pay and benefits. 

Three-fourths of the Security Alliance rent-a-cops riding around Lincoln Road signed a petition to join the SEIU, but only one was willing to talk to Riptide on the record. 

Richard Ruiz, who rides a bike patrol around the Beach, told us the company had lied to him about a pay raise and intimidated his co-workers not to support the union. "People are scared," he said.

Apparently for good reason. A few days after New Times published Ruiz's interview, Security Alliance fired the two-year employee. 

"I was fired when they found out I was speaking out and wanted a union," Ruiz says. "Employers shouldn't stop decent people from trying to have a better life."

SEIU has filed a federal complaint over Ruiz's firing.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink