The Jamaica Society for Industrial Security, JSIS, says the private security industry is deteriorating rapidly due to the actions of certain companies who do not properly compensate their security guards.
JSIS President, Lieutenant Commander, George Overton, accused some companies of undercutting legitimate players not only in the private market but also in acquiring lucrative government contracts.
At today’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Collette Roberts-Risden partially confirmed some of the accusations.
Chevon Campbell tells us more.
JSIS, President, Commander George Overton, is painting a dismal picture of the private security industry.
He says some companies have used insidious and illegal means to cut costs in order to compete for contracts.
Commander Overton says several legitimate players are now being forced to reconsider their involvement due to this behaviour.
Commander Overton says if something is not done the industry which employs some 30-thousand people will continue its downward spiral to non existence.
The former army man previously wrote to the Labour Ministry regarding two firms which benefit from government contracts violating the minimum wage for security guards.
A copy of that letter was obtained by Nationwide News.
It alleges that while the two companies are adhering to the minimum wage, they aren’t paying their security guards the full allowances required.
Commander Overton also alleges that the principal of one of these companies is the chairman of several government boards.
He argues that this practice is costing the already poorly paid security guards hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Labour Ministry, Collette Roberts-Risden told the PAAC that through investigation they’ve been able to confirm that at least one of the companies in question is in breach.
She says all companies found in breach have been written to and asked to comply with the stipulated standards immediately.
Meanwhile, Commander Overton noted that certain companies are using clever classifications to avoid paying security guards properly.
South St. Catherine Member of Parliament, Fitz Jackson, says the concerns raised by Commander Overton emphasizes the need to address the issues surrounding contract work.
MP for South Trelawny, Marissa Dalrymple-Philibert, says the failings of the security industry must be addressed by all stakeholders.