Pay Up, Security Firms Told

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) yesterday urged all security companies to implement the newly introduced minimum wage for security guards or face industrial action. Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare gazetted the minimum wage agreement of N$2,90 per hour or N$25 for a 12-hour shift for security guards. The agreement came into effect on September 23, 2005. The union also called on Government to stop awarding tenders to those security companies that fail to pay their workers the minimum wage. It also appealed to the Ministry of Labour to ensure that the newly introduced minimum wage is enforced in the sector. “Currently, security guards are getting N$1,50 per hour instead of the agreed N$2,90 minimum wage per hour. Some security guards are not even getting their salaries,” Natau’s general secretary John Kwedhi announced at a press briefing yesterday. He said the union was dissatisfied with some enlisted security services and those providing these services (such as government) were depriving workers of their hard-earned wages through gross negligence and maladministration. He stated: “It is disheartening to note that in the most recent cases of abuse, some Government ministries are alleged to be at fault as they are said to have dishonoured their part of the bargain by not paying the service providers. “Nafau is further disturbed by the care-free attitude visible in the Khomas Security Services case with Government, where both parties simply decided to ignore the socio-economic needs of the workers in their nonsensical power play and mud-slinging,” Kwedhi argued. “Knowing how the workers have suffered at the hands of government as a client and Khomas Security, Njangula Security Services and Humphries Security Services as service providers, we call on both parties to speedily resolve their squabbles and immediately attend to the workers.” Kwedhi maintained the minimum wage gazetted on September 23, 2005 gave effect to all provisions in the agreement and were binding to all parties and called upon all employers who still have not implemented the minimum wage to do so without delay. “We give these companies two weeks, otherwise we will take industrial action,” he sternly warned. When approached for comment Khomas Security (Pty) Ltd denied allegations by Natau, saying that it was paying its employees according to the minimum wage agreement. “We pay them on time, that’s why they come to work,” stated Diana Kapolo who identified herself as a manager at Khomas Security. Efforts to get hold of Njangula Security Services and Humphries Security proved futile at the time of going to press.