Threat of strike over wages looms in SA private security industry

Wage negotiations have deadlocked in the private security sector.
Image: 123RF/stylephotographs

A potential strike is looming in SA’s private security industry, which employs about 500,000 active officers.

Labour unions have rejected the latest wage offer from employers and are set to declare a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The standoff comes just weeks after the release of national crime statistics, which revealed that 21,022 people were murdered in SA between April 1 2018 and March 31. Victims of sexual offences numbered 52,420s.

This was an increase of 3.4% and 4.6% respectively.

On average, just less than 58 people were killed daily in SA in the past year, while 114 rapes were reported each day.

Nine unions with seats in the national bargaining council met with employers on October 1 and 2 for a compulsory mediation process, according to a statement by the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu).

The unions had previously rejected a 1.1% wage hike by employers, arguing that in real terms it translated to 23c an hour for Grade C officers, the lowest-paid category.

They have now rejected a 5% offer, insisting that they would accept nothing less than a salary adjustment to R7,500 for Grade C officers, R8,000 for Grade B and R8,500 for Grade A officers.

“Currently, security officers are paid R4,377, R4,981 and R5,558 respectively,” said the union.

“No offer was put on the table with respect to benefits like hospital cover, which labour had demanded employers introduce and contribute 60% towards.

“Unions will now declare a mutual interest dispute with the CCMA, after which the commission will attempt to bring the parties together. If that process also fails, unions will be issued with a certificate to take workers on strike.”




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