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SacRideHuman

It is Time again to Take Action to get G4S out of RT

Sacramento Regional Transit is now preparing the request for proposals (RFP) that it will use to solicit bids for the next private security contractor. The current contract expires June 30, 2017; the RFP should be going out in December 2016 or January 2017.

Please contact the RT Board, CEO, and key staff to let them know that you want your transit dollars going to a local company, not to a multinational corporation like G4S or any other company that is complicit with or involved in human rights violations or profiting from private prisons.

Here are the RT Board, CEO, and key staff emails you can copy and paste into your email:   jschenirer@cityofsacramento.org; amorin@folsom.ca.us; lbudge@cityofranchocordova.org; shansen@cityofsacramento.org; jsharris@cityofsacramento.org; phume@elkgrovecity.org; rjennings@cityofsacramento.org; macglashanr@saccounty.net; smiller@citrusheights.net; nottolid@saccounty.net; SupervisorSerna@saccounty.net; hli@sacrt.com; tspangler@sacrt.com; nleong@sacrt.com

Here are some talking points you can select from to include in your message:

RT should only hire socially responsible contractors:

♦ G4S is as problematic now as it was in March 2016 when the RT Board decided to only renew G4S’ contract for one year instead of two in response to community outcry. G4S should not be awarded another RT contract. For information about G4S abuses, visit www.G4Sfacts.org

G4S was recently fined for falsely listing psychological testing information on thousands of forms, including those of the Orlando gay club shooter, who murdered 49 people.

G4S guards have been used against the Stop the Dakota Pipeline demonstrators.

♦ Before going out to bid, RT should seriously consider bringing its security workers in house. RT employees can best do the work and represent the organization.

♦ RT is already mandated to consider “contractor integrity, compliance with public policy, [and] record of past performance.” Social responsibility considerations are implicit in these criteria, yet RT has ignored them. RT must include social responsibility evaluation in any request for proposals.  RT should learn from the Sacramento City Council that stopped doing business with Wells Fargo based on that company’s lack of social responsibility.

♦ RT must also consider all of the company’s business practices, not just those of its local staff.  When the City of Sacramento dropped Wells Fargo, it was because of its actions as a corporation, not because the City didn’t like a local branch. If RT wants to consider a multi-state or multi-national corporation, it cannot ignore any unethical practices, violations of human and civil rights, records falsification, and/or mismanagement by that corporation regardless of where they occur.

Our local transit dollars should go to a local company:

♦ RT must prioritize hiring a genuinely local company. First, RT needs to change the definition of “local” in its current Small and Local Business Preference Program so that “local” is defined as businesses that are locally owned or headquartered in the Sacramento area. RT’s current policy defines a business as “local” if it has an office in Sacramento or surrounding counties and on that basis, RT awarded multi-national G4S “local” preference points to help it get the contract in 2013. Multi-national corporations are not “local” even if they have an office in Sacramento. 

♦ RT must include preference points for small and local business in its new RFP for private security.

♦ RT must ensure that its request for proposals (RFP) does not present barriers to small and local companies who are capable of doing a good job. The RFP should not require or give preference to a company with previous transit-related experience; it should not be unduly onerous; and it should not include requirements that would give an unfair advantage to prior contractors.  

♦ RT wants security guards who can effectively interact with the public, address situations with difficult or aggressive individuals, assist in station safety including picking up litter, etc. Many security companies, including small local ones, can offer security guards with these skills.

♦ RT should have a plan to actively reach out in a timely manner to the range of private security companies in the Sacramento area. RT must allow enough time for companies to respond to the request for proposals and to ask questions and get additional information

 

UPDATES

September 2016:  G4S was  fined for falsely listing psychological testing information on thousands of forms, including that of the Orlando gay club shooter’s psychological tests

September 2016: Reckless Security Firm Hired to Protect Dakota Pipeline CompanyG4S was hired to oppose the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s efforts to protect their land and water in North Dakota from a proposed $3.8 billion crude-oil pipeline.

August 2016: Justice Department announces it will stop contracting with private prisons“The decision comes a week after the DOJ inspector general released a damning report on the safety, security, and oversight of private prisons” (Mother Jones). G4S continues to operate private youth prisons in the U.S. in which inmates have been abused.

Following DOJ Decision, the Department of Homeland Security will Review Private Prison Contracts.  “This step is a tacit admission that the corporations who profit by locking up desperate adults and children undermine our decency as a nation.”  (8/30/16 Democracy Now)

July 2016: Prison Legal news publishes UK Security Company’s Long History of Controversy, Misconduct.

(G4S continues to operate private state youth prisons in the U.S. in which inmates have been abused. G4S also contracts with Homeland Security to deport immigrants.)

 July 2016: Denver Water Board City drops G4S and the City of Berkeley divests from G4S following efforts of local human rights activists.  

NEW: G4S website launched!

Learn more about G4S mismanagement and involvement in private prisons, violations of human rights and international law,  abuses in youth detention facilities, and immigrant detention and deportations.

Orlando tragedy and G4S: Orlando shooter Omar Mateen latest G4S employee involved in senseless tragedy

►Tell RT you want their relationship with G4S ended when the current contract expires in June 2017. Tell RT to bring their security workers in house or hire another company, preferably local, that does not violate human rights or profit from private prisons.   

You can copy and paste these RT Board members emails into your message: jschenirer@cityofsacramento.org; amorin@folsom.ca.us; lbudge@cityofranchocordova.org; shansen@cityofsacramento.org; jsharris@cityofsacramento.org; phume@elkgrovecity.org; rjennings@cityofsacramento.org; macglashanr@saccounty.net; smiller@citrusheights.net; nottolid@saccounty.net; SupervisorSerna@saccounty.net

Please cc  General Manager Henry Li: hli@sacrt.com Chief Counsel Tim Spangler:  tspangler@sacrt.com; Manager Fernando Barcena fbarcena@sacrt.com, and SacRideHuman@gmail.com

►Follow @SacRideHuman & like us on facebook

Click for more about G4S. 

► SacRideHuman and hundreds of Sacramentans are asking Sacramento Regional Transit to end their contract with British-Danish G4S, a global private security company that is profiting from and complicit with human rights violations around the world, including the abuse of child prisoners in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel-Palestine and elsewhere.

► We are also asking Sac RT to develop socially responsibility criteria to be included in the request for proposals (RFP) for the next contract to exclude companies that are involved in violations of human rights, international law, or the environment or in unethical business practices.

► Contact us at SacRideHuman@gmail.com to: 
   ● Add your group’s name to the letter asking RT to drop G4S.
● Arrange for a presentation to your group, place of workshop, friends, family, colleagues.
● Ask a question or make a comment.

Is G4S really the kind of corporation our public transit dollars should be going to?

Click for ten reasons why Sacramento Regional Transit should not contract with  the G4S corporation.

G4S and Youth Prisons:
     – G4S youth jails: a story of revolving doors, dangerous restraints and death
     – G4S to sell controversial youth jail contracts
     – G4S guards at youth prison alleged to have falsified reports to avoid fines

After yet another incident of abuse, and having the United Kingdom’s Labour Party call for G4S to be stripped of youth prisons contract and a Florida grand jury call G4S facilities a “disgrace to the state of Florida”, G4S is considering getting out of the business of running youth prisons in US and UK.

►G4S is also one of the corporations that falls under the recent Human Rights Watch call for an end to all business in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements“The only way for businesses to comply with their own human rights responsibilities is to stop working with and in Israeli settlements,” said Arvind Ganesan, director of the business and human rights division at Human Rights Watch.   G4S provides security services including equipment and personnel in several illegal Israeli settlements.  

►British-Danish G4S received extra points for being a “local business” when RT awarded it a contract in 2013. Clearly a multi-national corporation like G4S is not a “local business”, but got the points because it had an office in Sacramento or surrounding counties.

In the news:
Humanitarian controversy engulfs Sacramento RT contractor (3-3-16 SNR)
Sacramento transit officials to consider ‘human rights’ policy (1-12-16 Sac Bee)
Sacramento activists urge transit agency to cut ties to security firm (1-2-16 Sac Bee)

Note: As a follow-up to issues raised in the Bee’s 1-2-16 article, SacRideHuman sent a  Jan 4 letter to RT.

SacRideHuman welcomes the decision by the University of California to divest from G4S and other companies involved in operating privatized prisons.

RT’s Action on G4S: March 2016
   On March 28, 2016, after six months of writing and meeting with RT Board and staff, generating substantial organizational and individual support through petition and letters, and attending RT Board meetings, SacRideHuman’s effort made headway!
  The Board considered the options of ending the contract or a 1-year or 2-year extension.  It finally agreed to a 1-year extension for fiscal year (FY) 2017 and to either go out to bid for FY 2018 or bring security workers in house. The Board also agreed to continue to explore, with community input, screening criteria related to social responsibility /social justice, including respect for human rights.

    At least three dozen people attended the meeting in support of ending the G4S contract, set to expire in June at the end of FY 2016. Several speakers raised issues including that the RT staff counsel’s issue paper had referenced a debunked report that attempted to exonerate G4S. A G4S spokes person tried to defend the company with misrepresentations, including falsely denying that G4S is involved in private prisons.

   SacRideHuman will continue its work to assure and to help the RT Board see through the commitments it made at the March 28 meeting.  Stay tuned!

SacRideHuman Statement to RT Board in response to Issue Paper for 3-28-16 Board meeting

Click for SacRideHuman in the news. 

MORE

In Sept. 2015, Sac RT Board and staff learned that its private security provider, multinational G4S, profits from human rights and other abuses around the world.

Since then, hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations have been urging RT not to extend G4S’ contract, yet RT has remained silent.

RT Board and staff have been given: 1) legal analysis showing that they have the ability and obligation to screen its contractors for social responsibility, including respecting human rights, and 2) assessment criteria they can use for this screening.

Dozens have attended RT Board meetings since December 2015, expressing their concerns about G4S’ complicity in human rights abuses.

March 14 RT meeting

Once again, on March 14, 2016, nearly three dozen supporters of dropping G4S attended the RT Board meeting. Although agenda item 10 erroneously listed G4S as the private security contractor for fiscal year 2017, the Board Chair refused to let members of the public speak to this issue. 

RT Chief Counsel gave an update on RT’s contractor screening for human rights.  He noted that staff has been looking at this issue and will continue to do so and was not yet ready to make a recommendation. No date for a future report was given.

Also at the 3/14 meeting, the Board approved the creation of 30 new fare checker positions funded from Sac $1.2 million of the $4.1 million set aside annually for private security. This is a welcome conversion of low paid unionized private security jobs to RT unionized jobs with better pay and benefits. 

The creation of the fare checker positions  reduces the number of private security guards by at least a third.  G4S issues aside, such a significant change warrants rebidding the contract in order to allow other companies the opportunity to get RT’s business.

 

G4S does not deserve our transit dollars.

Here’s why Sacramento Regional Transit should not be contracting with  G4S

Public entities have a responsibility to ensure that corporations they contract with are responsible not only in their business practices, but in their relationship to the community as a whole.  Public funds should not be used to profit irresponsible companies. As a corporation, British-Danish G4S has clearly demonstrated its flagrant disregard for human rights, rights of the child, international law, and labor rights and profits from the violation of these basic laws and rights.  Contracting with locally-owned companies also can help keep taxpayer funds in the local community.

♦ Opposing G4S reflects a stand again racism. 1000 Black activists, artists and scholars have recently called for join struggle again G4S, because “G4S harms thousands of Palestinian political prisoners illegally held in Israel and hundreds of Black and brown youth held in its privatized juvenile prisons in the US. The corporation profits from incarceration and deportation from the US and Palestine, to the United KingdomSouth Africa and Australia.” The Guardian notes that G4S “has been accused of running a “disgraceful” juvenile detention centre in Florida”.

♦ G4S profits from environmental destruction.  G4S’ complicity with Israel’s unlawful occupation and colonization of Palestine also makes it complicit with significant environmental damageIsrael has destroyed over a million Palestinian olive trees, drained and polluted the area’s aquifers, and destroyed water-conserving cisterns and hundreds of thousands of acres of land that provided habitat.

♦ G4S makes money from misery, profiting from disaster.

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