Securitas workers’ struggle
Throughout 2015 and 2016, security workers have been fighting a struggle to be insourced at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), through #OutsourcingMustFall (#OMF). Throughout they have been facing victimisation. At the end of 2016 a new round a victimisation occurred.
In December 2016, 143 of these workers were dismissed by Securitas, which is a multinational company contracted to provide security at the University. This was in the wake of lengthy disciplinary proceedings and an unsuccessful attempt by Securitas at the Labour Court to interdict workers from entering UWC’s premises.
In fact, Securitas immediately suspended the workers following the dismissal of the company’s application by the Court. They instituted charges against the workers in December. The charges that were levelled against the workers were:
·Assault / robbery of a supervisor
·Holding the senior management hostage at the Student Centre.
·Absenteeism from 17 October to 21 November 2016
The company charged 143 workers, including those who were on annual and maternity leave. They were all found “guilty” and dismissed. During this period the UWC management completely refused to intervene to avoid any drastic action against the workers. The General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA), the SRC President and FeesMustFall (FMF) activists tried to arrange an urgent meeting with UWC and Securitas management to ensure that workers would not be victimised and dismissed for struggling for insourcing. Both management teams were not willing to meet.