Organised labour in the Security sector is warning of an impending strike after wage negotiations deadlocked late last week.
The seven unions with seats in the industry bargaining council have been taking part in wage negotiations facilitated by Commissioner Meshack Ravuku since 15 August. Since then there have been four rounds of negotiations but employers remain intransigent at 1.1% wage increase offer. In real terms, that translates to a mere R0.23 per hour wage increase for a Grade C security officer.
Labour, on the other hand, has been steadfast demanding a salary adjustment of at least R7 500 for a Grade C security officer, R8 000 for Grade B officers and R8 500 for Grade A. In addition, unions are demanding the introduction of hospital cover, towards which employers will contribute 60% to ensure workers have access to better healthcare facilities.
Considering the offer on the table, it is clear employers are not committed to playing a meaningful role in substantially improving the living conditions of the security officer. For far too long greedy captains of industry have been laughing all the way to the bank while workers drown in debt attempting to make ends meets and failing miserably.
Negotiations collapsed when unions rejected employers’ insulting 23c offer outright on 19 September. According to the Industry Protocol on negotiations, both parties will participate in a compulsory mediation process which is set to take place on 1 and 2 October. Should the mediation process not yield an agreement, a mutual interest dispute will be referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). If that also fails to produce a settlement, a certificate entitling workers to go on strike will be issued.
We call upon employers to redeem themselves, stop the unwarranted provocation of workers and put a reasonable offer on the table. In our view, this will only happen if they deploy a well-prepared senior delegation with the requisite executive authority to make a tangible offer.
As trade unions in the sector representing a collective membership of more than 150 000, we will use all means available to us to mobilise security officers in every shop, mineshaft, power station, mall, factory, bank, building, etc. to support the strike and to bring about a qualitative change in their lives as well as disrupt the unethical accumulation of exorbitant profits by bosses.
Joint statement issued by the following unions with seats in the bargaining council:
For further enquiries contact:
SATAWU Media Officer, Zanele Sabela, 011 403 2077