Security guard strike looms large after failed wage talks

Wage negotiations in the private security sector remain deadlocked and unions are heading to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to declare a dispute, they said in a statement on Thursday.

Previous negotiations failed when employers offered a 1.1% wage hike, which the unions said they rejected outright because in real terms it translated to 23c per hour for Grade C officers, the lowest paid category.

During a compulsory mediation process on 1 and 2 October, the offer was hiked to 5%, but this too has been rejected.

The nine unions with seats on the national bargaining council – among them Detawu and Satawu – said they were holding out for R7 500 for Grade C officers, R8 000 for Grade B and R8500 for Grade A officers.

Security officers in these grades are currently paid R4 377, R4 981 and R5 558 respectively.

They have also requested benefits such as subsidised hospital cover.

If the CCMA fails to resolve the mutual interest dispute declared between the unions and employers, a certificate will be issued to take workers on strike.

Fin24 previously reported that both unions and employers had been doubtful the initial mediation process would deliver results. Fidelity CEO Wahl Bartmann said there was a large difference between what employees were demanding and what the South African National Security Employers' Association (SANSEA) was prepared to offer.

The private security industry in South Africa employs some half a million officers, compared to under 200 000 police officers, Fin24 also reported.

Compiled by Marelise van der Merwe