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Security guards are ‘soft and easy targets’ because of profit-hungry bosses: Fedusa

Fedusa states that security guards are at risk due to employer greed.
Fedusa states that security guards are at risk due to employer greed.

Poorly designed cash-in-transit vehicles‚ inadequately trained security guards‚ outdated weapons and equipment and low staff morale have created an environment where brazen criminals are allowed to flourish.

And fed up guards are now set to go on strike.

So says Dennis George‚ general secretary of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa)‚ who said that security companies’ focus on pure profit was putting lives at risk. He said that the number of cash-in-transit heists had more than doubled in just three years‚ and that the “cash-in-transit pandemic is totally understated”.

“The main reason for the extreme increase could be attributed to the fact that cash in transit vehicles are seen as ‘soft and easy targets’ due to under-investment in strong security measures and that the security companies focuses primarily on maximising profits‚” said George.

Given this‚ Fedusa has welcomed a call from the Motor Transport Workers Union (MTWU) for an urgent meeting to be held with the management of the major cash-in-transit companies‚ including Fidelity‚ G4S and SBV. The meeting is slated for May 28 or 30.

George said that Fedusa and MTWU has identified “several weaknesses” in the cash-in-transit industry: Weak and out-dated vehicle design; The low number of CIT security officers on vehicles; The weak firepower and outdated equipment of CIT security officers; Lack of training for CIT security officers; Low CIT security officers moral‚ high staff turnover and the introduction of unfair disciplinary action and The lack of focus on general safety precautions.

He added that MTWU submissions around the problem had not been heeded by a range of authorities‚ including the ministers of safety and security‚ police and transport‚ and from the governor of the Reserve Bank.

“The situation has a reached critical point that Fedusa and our affiliates can no longer tolerate the situation. Our members and their families demand urgent protection from their employers and government. Nationwide protest action will take place on June 11 2018‚ where CIT security officers will down tools and participate in protect action. We will also be calling on our members from the SAPS and various Community Policing Forum’s to participate in the events to demand concrete and progressive measures to deal with the matter‚” he said.

In what appeared to be a veiled threat‚ George warned that a strike that lasted anything longer than a day or two would cause utter chaos.

“It is important to note that ATMs must be loaded daily‚ and a one-day strike will create scarcities of cash money‚ a two-day strike will cause large sums of cash piling up with retailers and a three-day strike will cause an economic crisis‚” he said.

He said the umbrella body would participate in parliament’s police portfolio committee special hearings on June 13 - but that “the time for talk is over and drastic measures must be implemented urgently”.

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