Security guards' jobs at stake

An organisation representing security companies says a strike by guards would harm the industry and the workers'' interests.

08 November 2016 | Labour

The threat of a December security guard strike will be a gut punch not only to security service customers, but also to security guards and security companies.

Representatives of the Security Association of Namibia (SAN) say besides the issues of wages and working conditions, other critical issues facing the industry are unregistered operators who abuse workers and the critical issue of finalising industry regulations.

Dries Kannemeyer, SAN president, warned that a strike would have devastating consequences for guards. They won''t be paid for the duration, and customers might invest in alternative security measures.

“A strike could lead to end-users of security services to seriously look at alternatives which could lead to a lot of security guards losing their current employment and joining the ranks of the unemployed, which we believe the country''s economy cannot afford.”

He added that a recent opinion poll found that most customers would be unwilling to pay more for guard services.

Kannemeyer described the demand of a 78% pay increase “astronomical and unacceptable” and said the fallout could make major job losses a reality.

He added that SAN members look after their employees by paying at least the minimum wage, registering them for Social Security and making sure that their duty stations “adhere to minimum requirements where possible”.

The unions were ignoring some of the problems faced by employers, such as guards staying away from work, sleeping on duty, being drunk on duty, and misusing, stealing or damaging customer property, he added.

On Friday SAN representatives met with Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to discuss the industry''s lack of regulations and a possible way forward.

“Currently the industry is not regulated. Anyone can enter the industry and there are no rules or regulations that anyone has to adhere to,” Kannemeyer said.

He added that labour inspectors don''t enforce minimum wages, while fly-by-night companies exploit their employees and nothing is done by the inspectorate or the unions.

Kannemeyer said the unions focus solely on SAN-affiliated companies and “forget about the hundreds of companies not registered, thereby destroying the image of the industry”.

Kannemeyer further questioned the lack of complaints recorded at the Ministry of Labour by workers alleging dire working conditions at unregistered companies.

Last week SAN chairperson Levi Shigwedha also said that other industries are regulated, but there is nobody regulating the security industry.

He said the majority of issues plaguing the industry are because of companies that are not registered by the Ministry of Trade, “pirate companies that operate from a bedroom. They are the ones who treat their employees badly.”

Shigwedha said SAN encourages security guards to report their working conditions and other issues to the organisation.

“If they report these issues to us, we will address our members. But I don''t think it is happening with our members, who are fully compliant.” He said no complaints had been reported to SAN.

Shigwedha further said that the same rate could not be paid to guards performing different levels of security work.

“The unions do not want to differentiate between a beginner and a long-term employee. They want all on the same entry level, which we believe is unfair,” Kannemeyer added.

He said SAN was negotiating for an entry-level minimum wage, with a proposed 14% increase for new employees and 28% for those who have worked for a year or longer in the industry.

“What the community does not know is that security companies make use of different packages and therefore a big number of employees are already remunerated far above the current minimum wage,” he explained.

Similar News

 

Govt concerned about trade union members

1 month - 14 March 2018 | Labour

President Hage Geingob said he would like the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) to know that his administration is concerned about trade union members.In...

Union warns private schools

1 month - 23 February 2018 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) intends to clamp down on fly-by-night private schools that allegedly exploit...

Rosh Pinah, MUN ink agreement

2 months ago - 05 February 2018 | Labour

Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation of Namibia has entered into a labour agreement with the Mineworkers' Union of Namibia (MUN) for the next three years.The agreement...

SOS housemothers fed up

2 months ago - 02 February 2018 | Labour

Unhappy housemothers at SOS Children's Villages Namibia in Windhoek, Tsumeb and Ondangwa handed over a petition to their respective offices yesterday morning, detailing a litany...

Union to act against security companies

2 months ago - 02 February 2018 | Labour

The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) has threatened to report, name and shame and possibly sue security companies who are still not compliant with...

Boss unapologetic about swearing at workers

2 months ago - 30 January 2018 | Labour

Workers at a local signage shop have accused their boss of verbally abusing them and using racial slurs to insult them. The workers at...

MUN reflects on 2017 challenges

3 months ago - 10 January 2018 | Labour

The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) was mainly challenged by retrenchments and several cases of labour unrest throughout last 2017, Paul Situmba, MUN's assistant secretary-general,...

Engineers want ministry to implement ruling

3 months ago - 28 December 2017 | Labour

The Namibian Society of Engineers (NASE) has written to the works PS, Willem Goeieman, to advise him to take note of a recent court ruling...

Rukoro gets N$3m severance

4 months ago - 15 December 2017 | Labour

Meatco is on the hunt for a new CEO after officially dropping all disciplinary charges against Vekuii Rukoro, who was suspended from the position earlier...

Engineers doubt council president's qualifications

4 months ago - 27 November 2017 | Labour

The Namibian Society of Engineers (NASE) has announced its intention to investigate Engineering Council of Namibia (ECN) president Markus von Jeney's qualifications and eligibility to...

Latest News

Acute teacher shortage

12 hours ago | Economics

The education ministry has appealed for leniency and recognition that despite the directive to reduce state wage bills the ministry is in dire need of...

Africa briefs

12 hours ago | Economics

SA's auditor general cancels all contracts with KPMGSouth Africa’s Auditor General said on Tuesday he is terminating all contracts with auditing firm KPMG over a...

NovaNam, Lalandii start new hake...

12 hours ago | Business

Staff reporter - Last week, Lüderitz-based hake fishing companies, NovaNam and Lalandii, commenced with the cutting of the steel to build the...

Ondonga heir apparent hits back...

12 hours ago | Cultural

One of the claimants to the Ondonga throne, Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo, has taken issue with urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga following his recent...

PM warns employees of shorter...

12 hours ago | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila this week warned staff members of her office that she would not accept complacency and that she would shorten the leash...

40 years after battle of...

12 hours ago | History

The Angolan president, João Lourenço will attend the Cassinga Day commemoration on 4 May as guest of honour and will lay a wreath at Heroes'...

New conservancy land disputed

12 hours ago | Environment

A Kavango West man has accused the Uukwangali Traditional Authority of stealing his land, which he claimed was now allocated to a newly proclaimed conservancy....

Liquidators' powers reined in

12 hours ago | Justice

The extra powers granted to the two liquidators, Dave Bruni and Ian McLaren, by the High Court on 2 February, under whose management the liquidated...

Half a billion worth of...

12 hours ago | Banking

Staff reporter – Total business registered in FNB Namibia’s annual competition for estate agents amounted to about N$550 million, the group said in a statement....

Load More