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Transit security will be at normal levels tonight as the Chargers take on the Raiders despite a one day strike, according to the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). But picketers say, their replacements are not equipped for the job.
"Our officers have decided to go on strike today, they have walked off the trolley," said Steve Maritas, Organizing Director for Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America. "These guys live week by week, how can you afford making $8:50 an hour and support your family?"
MTS security guards walked off the job Thursday morning, ahead of tonight’s game against the Oakland Raiders. A security officer told NBC San Diego that they plan to strike indefinitely.
"We are out here looking for respect. We are out here working for sick days. We are working for holidays, better health benefits, we pay for our uniforms, this is wrong," said Maritas.
Dozens of members of the International Union of Security Police and Fire Professionals picketed Thursday outside MTS headquarters.
The guards have filed an unfair labor practice claim with the National Labor Relations Board.
The MTS said it will be fully staffed for the game.
"The full contingent of security guys will be out there today, if you're going to the Chargers game, school, work, don't worry, we've got you covered,” said Rob Schupp of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.
Schupp says Heritage Security will supply replacement officers.
"Heritage security is a big company, has over a thousand employees, this is a very small segment of their employee base, so they have lots of resources to draw upon," said Schupp. "We've got about 70 guys, replacement people ready to go into work, so there will be no loss of coverage from our security personnel today."
But Maritas says they’re not equipped to do the job.
"Our officers are armed, they're trained. They don't know the people on the trolley system. These guys work this day in and day out. You can take anybody and put a uniform on them but you’re not getting the proper service," said Maritas.
Schupp advises people who are traveling to leave early as there will be lots of crowds coinciding with traffic. Schupp recommends getting on the trolley by 2. p.m.
Kick-off is at 5:20 p.m.