Unions representing security guards in South Africa have urged the government to intervene in their mediation process with their employers in order to avoid a strike.
Unions are currently in a mediation process in an attempt to prevent a strike after wage negotiations with employers crumbled.
This after security guards earning between R4,300 and just over R5,000 demanded a wage increase to between R7,500 and R8,500 a month, depending on their grades.
The employers only offered 1.1% (23 cents per hour), but Unions have rejected the offer and described it as “pathetic” and “unacceptable”.
Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers’ Union (Detawu) general secretary Vusi Ntshangase said all unions in the sector were working together in demanding a better wage.
He said: “If there is no agreement today, we will declare a dispute at the CCMA [Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] for the issuing of a strike certificate.
“So far, employers have not shifted on their offer of 23 cents an hour. That is how difficult the process is.”
Ntshangase also warned that malls, banks, factories and mines would be without security if they went on strike.
“That is why we call upon even government through the minister of labour Thulas Nxesi. to treat this issue as serious and put some sense into the heads of employers. South Africa cannot afford such massive disruption,” he added.
The unions who are involved in the negotiations are South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, South African National Security Officers Forum, Kungwini Amalgamated Workers Union and Democratic Union of Security Workers.
If they fail to reach an agreement, 420 000 workers could go on strike.