Security guards treated like commodities

Three unions representing workers in the security sector this week organised a peaceful demonstation to draw attention to the appalling conditions many security guards have to endure.
The Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU), the Namibia Independence Security Union (NISU) and the Namibia Security Guard and Watchman Union (NASGWU) held a briefing on Wednesday during the peaceful demonstration during which they handed a petition detailing the conditions of work and minimum wages of security guards to the Office of the Labour Commissioner.
In their joint petition the Unions said “We followed closely the negotiation process and regularly received feedback from our representatives. It appears that our employers are not concerned with the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the men and women in uniform by the private security firms as Security Guards entrusted to protect properties and lives. Our working conditions are beyond imagination.” The petition demands that Labour Inspectors inspect all registered security companies to verify how and when they pay salaries and wages of security guards. Further, to establish if all provisions of the Labour and Social Security Acts and working conditions for security guards are complied with, to enforce decent working conditions as prescribed by the Country Decent Work Programme, to ensure safety at work, to provide pension benefit, and to conduct proper training. The unions further complained that some security guards are not registered with the Social Security Commission and when they are registered, employers do not pay over their contribution to the commission. “The Country Decent Work Programme [provides for] more young women and men [to] have equal access to productive and decent employment through inclusive job-rich growth. Are the Security Guards covered by the programme? If so, why are the employers not compelled to comply with the Labour and Social Security Acts” the unions enquired. Moreover it was said that security guards are not treated decently but treated like commodities, “We contribute to the security and safety of our people and economy, but our contribution is not recognized. Some of the objectives of the Country Decent Work Programme [are to] stimulate employment creation, [a] reduction in [the] level of youth unemployment and major improvement in the quality of jobs available to young women and men. How many young people are gathering here today? Is the work they perform decent?” the unions asked.Lastly, the unions pleaded with the Labour Commissioner and all relevant authorities to listen to their plight and [their] suffering as they have families to take care of and are willing to contribute to the Harambee Prosperity Plan as children of the Namibian house.

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