Cash-in-transit security guards to strike over 'heist pandemic'
Cape Town - Union federation, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) says Cash-In-Transit (CIT) security officers will down tools on June 11 over government and employers' failure to protect them against "criminal syndicates and organised criminals".
Fedusa has warned that a strike by CIT officers could cause an economic crisis. "It is important to note that ATMs must be loaded daily, and a one-day strike will create scarcities of cash money, a two-day strike will cause large sums of cash piling up with retailers and a three day strike will cause an economic crisis."
But the union said: The situation has reached a critical point and Fedusa and MTWU can no longer tolerate the situation.
Fedusa also welcomed the Motor Transport Workers Union's (MTWU) call for an urgent meeting with the management of the major CIT companies Fidelity Cash Services, G4S Cash Solutions and SBV to be held either on 28 or 30 May 2018, said Dennis George, Fedusa General Secretary.
MTWU is the majority trade union in the CIT industry that operates under the jurisdiction of the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI).
George said: "The cash-in-transit pandemic is understated, however the statistics show that in 2014, there were 180 cash-in-transit incidents. The cash-in-transit incidents in 2017 increased by 105% to 370 in just three years.
"The main reason for the extreme increase could be attributed to the fact that cash in transit vehicles are seen as “soft and easy targets” due to under-investment in strong security measures and that the security companies focuses primarily on maximising profits."
George said the leadership of Fedusa and MTWU has identified several weaknesses in the safety and security the CIT industry being the reason for the radical increase of cash-in-transit incidents:
1. Weak and out-dated vehicle design.
2. The low number of CIT Security Officers on vehicles.
3. The weak firepower and out-dated equipment of CIT Security Officers.
4. Lack of training for CIT Security Officers.
5. Low CIT Security Officers moral, high staff turnover and the introduction of unfair disciplinary action.
6. The lack of focus on general safety precautions.
7. The lack of support and implementation of MTWU submissions to various authorities such as:
7.1 Minister of Safety and Security
7.2 Minister of Transport
7.3 Governor of the South Africa Reserve Bank
Fedusa and MTWU are also calling for an increase in the salaries of CIT security officers from an average of R11 000 to R20 000 a month because of the high risks associated with the job.
"Fedusa and MTWU have accepted an invitation from the Parliamentary Committee to participate in a debate on 13 June 2018, however time for talk is over and drastic measures must be implemented urgently," said George.