Wage negotiations in the private security sector remain deadlocked and a strike by security guards across the country is likely.
The Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union (Detawu) and South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) are among the unions heading to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to declare a dispute.
They’re holding out for a minimum R7, 500 in wages for the lowest-category guard.
The workers currently earn just under R4, 400 a month.
“Employers had previously offered a 1.1% wage hike, which unions rejected outright because in real terms it translated to 23c per hour for Grade C officers – who are the lowest paid category,” Satawu said in a statement.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) employers put 5% on the table but it was also rejected because unions were adamant from the beginning they would accept nothing less than a salary adjustment to R7 500 for Grade C officers, R8 000 for Grade B and R8500 for Grade A officers. Currently, security officers are paid R4 377, R4 981 and R5 558 respectively.
“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.
The private security industry employs about half a million officers, compared to fewer than 200, 000 police officers.