By New Worker correspondent
The lot of a security guard is never a happy one. In addition to having to deal with hours of boredom enlivened only by drunken yobs and frequently more dangerous criminals during unsocial hours in low paid outsourced jobs that are often precarious, particularly when one firm losses a contract to another.
An example of the latter comes at the O2 Arena in Greenwich where a change of contractor means that 200 guards could lose their jobs. GMB has accused the departing contractor OCS of sabotaging rival company, Securitas, who have just won the contract. Normally staff working from the current provider would simply transfer over to the new company and see minimal change to their daily working lives.
This time round OCS is withholding the names of more than 200 of the current workforce in a bid to sabotage Securitas’ running of the contract. Roger Jenkins, GMB National Officer for the sector said: “Hundreds of dedicated security guards are being hung out to dry because of a corporate power struggle – it’s despicable.
“This is no way to treat the dedicated front line security we all rely on in terror attacks like the Manchester Arena and Westminster Bridge.
In a similar case another “sore loser” security firm lost a big contract and had the nerve to charge workers more than £220 each as a parting shot.
In this case the villain is Amberstone, who recently lost the ASDA distribution security contract. To mark the occasion, in the last pay run before departing, and without notice, they deducted the cost of each worker’s vital Security Industry Authority licence from their final pay packet – up to £220 per person.
This time Roger Jenkins said: “Amberstone’s leaving present to their hard-working employees was to line their own pockets and leave workers skint. Amberstone should hang their heads in shame. It is no surprise they lost this contract and the sooner they leave the security industry the better.”
In yet another case GMB has attacked Churchill Security for demanding that their guards download spy software on their personal mobile phones to allow Management to track their locations and ‘update you of shift changes’.
Churchill, which is based in Chorley, employs more than 160 guards across the country, including in Cardiff Bay, Cheltenham, Watford, Milton Keynes, Abingdon and London.
Roger Jenkins said: “This is appalling behaviour from a company trying to play big brother to hard working security guards.
“What they don’t need is employers making their job even harder, expecting them to download spy software onto their personal phones and tracking their every move.
One might wonder why trade unions organising in the private and public sectors do not devote some of their time and energy to demanding that major employers at least bring their security in house.