Low wages at security companies have been a thorn in the side of the industry for many years, and have continuously resulted in labour disputes for many companies.
This is as hardworking security guards, who keep millions of dollars’ worth of goods and infrastructure safe, continue to fight for better wages and decent working conditions amidst rising crime exacerbated by high unemployment and escalating poverty.
However, the labour ministry yesterday disputed a claim by the Security Association of Namibia (SAN) that it is still awaiting feedback and guidance from the Wages Commission on the prescribed minimum wage for the industry.
Acting executive director in the ministry Balbina Pienaar clarified that the ministry appointed the Wages Commission on national wages in February 2021 to investigate the possibility of introducing a national minimum wage.
“The commission conducted consultative meetings countrywide, received views from different stakeholders and the report was submitted to the line minister,” Pienaar said.
She added that these investigations should not be viewed as a replacement of bargaining power between employers and employees’ representatives.
“The collective agreements in different sectors, including the security industry, would remain in place as it does not only cover the minimum wages, but other conditions of employment too.”
According to the collective agreement between SAN and three other parties, which was later extended for the entire sector through the Government Gazette on 15 September 2017, “the parties agree to commence with negotiations with the view to enter into a new collective agreement by no later than 1 August 2018”.
Pienaar reiterated the ministry’s position, and therefore called upon the parties to commence with negotiations and come up with the long-overdue, new collective agreement.
“As usual, the minister, once the parties agree to the new collective agreement, will gladly extend the collective agreement to the entire industry, provided the required procedures are followed,” she stated.