ANDREAS Hausiku, secretary general of the Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen’s Union (NASGWU), has accused black-owned security companies of failing to pay their employees, the statutory prescribed minimum hourly rate of N$8.75 shift, which is honoured by their white-owned security companies.
Hausiku says that certain companies that are contracted by government gives the union major problems, as they do not comply with the hourly rates
He further pointed out that they barely experience issues with the white-owned companies, which comply with the rates and pay their employees on time as opposed to, “us black people”.
Meanwhile, Hausiku shared that the union had a meeting today with the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma regarding a new proposal that seeks the increment of the minimum wage, which covers not only the security industry but different sectors as well.
He however, pointed out that a possible new wage proposal is a long process as it, as will affect various industries.
Hausiku says that they are proposing a hike to N$30.00 per hour.
“We asked the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation to set a quantity for the wage commission and so far the committee has travelled around the country, engaged relevant stakeholders and has given their recommendation to the minister to decide whether there will be an increment or not,” he reveals
The unionist further vents that members of the security guard are exploited and forced to work long hours and they deserve more.
The Acting Executive Director (ED) of the Minister of Labour, Lydia Indombo says the implementation of minimum wage is in the hands of companies and the ministry can only act on a matter if employees bring complaints to the Labour Inspection Directorate.
The minimum entry level wages of security officers is N$8.75 per hour effective from January 2017 according to the collective agreement signed on 7 September 2017.
The purposes of this collective agreement for a minimum entry level wage and other agreed levels were to improve the living standards of security officers, reduce poverty, maintain social peace; and to curb and prevent exploitation of security guards.
The wages per hour were adjusted from N$6.75 to N$7.00 per hour to a minimum of N$8.75 per hour.
As of 1 July 2017 the minimum wage for all security officers who, at that time, were employed with their current employer for a cumulative period of no less than 12 months, were to earn N$10 per hour.
NASGWU currently has over 3000 members and 1700 active members who are paid up and registered with the union.
According to the Security Association of Namibia (SAN), security guards work around 16 hours a day, thus the hourly rate earns them a measly N$140 after a long day of hard work.