Pros: free online courses through the union, some good people
Cons: 12 hour shifts, no breaks, must pack a lunch, working nights/weekends/holidays, poor quality uniforms, poor management, poor job security, outdated benefit plan for fulltimers
I can only speak for unarmored guards.
This company will hire anyone off the streets with a security license, so be prepared to work with a circus of clowns, including management. There are some good people, but the insane number of clowns give the company a bad reputation. Management is sneaky and two-faced, you never know what to expect from them. – more... Luckily, the guards are unionized (under the CAW) because you will need to go up against management for almost everything.
Most jobs are 12 hour shifts, with no breaks, and straight nights (or at least rotating shifts) and make minimum wage. Some sites also force you to use your own car as a patrol vehicle, and the gas/mileage allowance for these positions is very cheap.
The hardest part of the job is usually sitting in a chair for 12 hours straight without falling asleep.
The job security is awful. I have already been out of a job twice in the past two years with this company, because they are losing security contracts with companies faster than they are getting them. If this happens to you, don't expect the company to lay you off, they will cut your hours down to 6 hour/week so you are ineligible for EI benefits. If you are lucky enough to have less hours than that, you will have to beg them for your ROE to make an unemployment claim.
They will then call you with a less-than 2 hour notice and give you the worst shifts they have, and will not take "No" as an answer.
Kiss up to management and do not get on their bad side, or they will make your life a living nightmare and you should be fine.
P.s. Your uniform will take months to come in when you first start. Once you have it, it will not likely take long for it to fall apart/rip, and will take a lot of begging, pleading, and phone calls to get a replacement. There are employees working without a sweater or jacket in the middle of winter.
P.P.S. Always check your pay stubs, they will often be incorrect and missing hours. When they are, be prepared to jump through hoops of fire to get your earnings. (6-12 month battle of constant phone calls and emails to and from 10 different people on the other side of the province) – less