Some security companies still not paying minimum wages

04 Nov 2013 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 04 NOV (NAMPA) – NAFAWU has given non-compliant security companies until 20 November this year to comply with the minimum wage for security guards as set out by Government two years ago.
The Secretary-General of the Namibia Fuel and Allied Workers’ Union (NAFAWU), David Frans at a media conference on Monday raised the concern that smaller security companies are securing big contracts and tenders from Government, but still do not pay workers the minimum wage.
“The union will make sure that all so-called smaller companies, especially those awarded with public tenders, are forced to comply with the 2011/2014 minimum wage agreement within three months of implementation (of the deadline). This cut-off time will start running from 20 November 2013 until 20 January 2014,” he noted.
Frans said out of 264 registered security companies countrywide, about 57 businesses do not pay their workers the minimum wage, according to research conducted by the Namibia Security Guards and Watchman Union (NASGWU).
The Security Association of Namibia (SAN), Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU), NASGWU, and Namibia Independent Security Union signed the agreement on the minimum wage with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in July 2012.
The collective agreement was extended to all employers and employees in the industry for a period of two years.
Under the collective agreement, the minimum wage for the entry level increased from N.dollars 3,80 per hour to N.dollars 5 per hour, and a N.dollars 4 shift bonus. A full shift was defined at 10,5 hours.
Frans further described the minimum wage in the industry as a “curse and disgrace”, adding that the wage agreement should only apply to the entry level of the industry.
Unions are in the process of finalising a new wage proposal with Government, according to Frans.
The proposal involves four tiers, and the suggestion is that T1 (entry level) employees receive N.dollars 8 per hour, or about N.dollars 2 880 per month and that T2 employees receive N.dollars 9,50 per hour (N.dollars 3 420 per month).
It was also suggested that T3 employees receive N.dollars 12,50 per hour, or N.dollars 4 500 per month; and that T4 employees receive N.dollars 14,50 per hour, or N.dollars 5 220 per month).
Other privileges which the union wants for security guards are, amongst others, night allowances; arms and ammunition training; medical aid; health and safety benefits; as well as profit sharing and development programmes.
He suggested that the Labour Ministry appoint investigation officers to assist with labour cases.
“We will expose them and we shall lobby with Government, the public and private sector to make sure that tenders are withdrawn,” he added.
There are about 3 700 security guards employed country-wide in the industry.
(NAMPA)
PC/AS