Union welcomes plans to address issues affecting guards

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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THE Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) has backed a proposal to issues affecting security guards to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament.

The union's position followed consultations on Monday with officers from across the island.

In a release yesterday, BITU vice-president Rudolph Thomas said the union has been paying careful attention to reports shared by the Ministry of Labour in relation to a recent survey, which revealed that a significant percentage of private security firms contracted by government ministries, departments and agencies were guilty of flouting the labour laws.

Thomas said that the situation facing security guards has had the attention of the union for many years, saying the concern extends beyond just the 30-plus entities which were subject to the ministry's survey to the wider composition of the private security guard industry.

“The union has been protesting the conditions of employment imposed on security guards for several years, long preceding the 2015 studies by the Social Development Commission, which identified gross concerns with not only wage, but also non-wage working conditions,” said Thomas.

“The union is seeing practices under which our guards suffer and where our legislative provisions to protect these workers are flaunted,” he said, saying companies accused of breaching the labour laws “should be promptly recommended for due process to take its course fairly and transparently”.

Said Thomas: “In furtherance of the minister's commitment to refer the matter, the union anticipates that such representation would be directed through the Labour Advisory Committee for specific recommendation to the minister for dealing with the matter.”

The union, meanwhile, has reiterated its suggestion for the Ministry of Labour to establish a Joint Industry Council for security guards similar to that existing within the construction industry, “and the principles pursuant to which negotiations takes place in the sugar industry”.

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