Death of Mr Ward – G4S


West Midlands against Policing for Profit asked West Midlands Police Authority:

The death of Mr Ward while being transported by GSL (now G4S) in January 2008

Mr Ward, aged 46, from Warburton, who was a well-respected hard working member of the community, died from heat stroke after being transported from Laverton to Kalgoorlie in January 2008. The journey lasted four hours and outside temperatures were in the mid 40s.

The air-conditioning in the rear of the van was not working. The air temperature in the back of his prison van could have been more than 50 degrees Celsius.

Mr Ward, 46, suffered third-degree burns when his skin came into contact with a hot metal surface in the back of the van.  Mr Ward had a body temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius, despite attempts by staff at Kalgoorlie Hospital to cool him with ice and water for 20 minutes on arrival, they failed to revive him.

“It is clear that the deceased suffered a terrible death while in custody which was wholly unnecessary and avoidable,” said State Coroner Alastair Hope.

The Western Australia State Coroner found in June 2009 that the State, the GSL (now G4S) company and the workers had all contributed to Mr Ward’s death.

The Coroner’s report can be found in full here:

http://www.safetyandquality.health.wa.gov.au/docs/mortality_review/inquest_finding/Ward_finding.pdf

On 12th August 2008 G4S pleaded guilty to having failed to take any of the practicable measures and was found to have constituted a serious breach of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. G4S was fined $285,000.

http://prosecutions.commerce.wa.gov.au/prosecutions/view/1349

1.            Did G4S declare the findings of the West Australia State Coroner or conviction for a serious breach of the  Occupational Safety and Health Act  when they answered the question at Pre-Qualification stage was whether the company had been found guilty of “committing any acts of grave misconduct in the course of their business and profession?”

2.            If G4S didn’t advise West Midlands Police Authority  of the court findings of its responsibility in the death of Mr Ward prisoner in their custody what action is the Police Authority proposing to take in regard to this?

The Authority’s response is:

Question 1 – No.

Question 2 – In undertaking the procurement process for business partnering the Authority is subject to EU law and the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations. The Authority is under a duty to treat bidders equally.  The regulations provide for mandatory grounds which require the exclusion of a bidder in cases such as convictions for bribery.  There are discretionary grounds to exclude a bidder where there has been grave misconduct in the course of a business or profession or where there is a criminal conviction relating to a business or profession. It is noted that the defendant in the prosecution was G4S Custodial Services Pty Ltd which is not the same entity as the company bidding in respect of business partnering. The concerns you list also relate to activities undertaken in a different jurisdiction with different national laws. The Authority are of the view that there are no grounds to exclude G4S from bidding on the basis of this case.

To see the full reply from WMPA click on the following link  Death of Mr Ward

Comment

Our message to West Midlands Police: Corporate violations of the rights and liberties of individuals in one country is of concern to the people of the world.

 

UK-BASED GLOBAL GIANT G4S KEEPS ITS 130,000 INDIAN SECURITY WORKERS IN POVERTY


New Report Cites Underpaid Overtime, Shortchanging Pensions

Security guards employed by G4S, among the largest private sector employers in India with more than 130,000 employees, are:

    
    -- Paid Poverty Wages
    -- Underpaid Overtime
    -- Short changed on their Workers' Pensions
    -- Have No Job Security, Contracts, Guarantees
    -- Not Guaranteed Workers' rights

According to a new report from UNI Global Union.

UK-based G4S is the second largest global employer, with 560,000 workers in 115 countries. G4S pays its workers only the barest legal minimum then uses creative accounting and legal loopholes to further drive down workers’ wages.

N.M. Muthappa, president of the Private Security Guards Union, Karnataka, said: “Clients need to take this very seriously; they are equally responsible stakeholders in fulfilling workers rights.”

Sudhir Kumar, president of the Delhi State CITU commented: “Our union will make sure that all G4S clients know that by associating with the bad practice of G4S, their image is also eroded.”

The report calls on G4S to:

    
    -- Pay Provident Fund contributions and bonuses based on the entire wage
       paid to workers.
    -- Stop retaliating against and intimidating workers who speak out for
       their rights, including union leaders.
    -- Provide workers with an employment contract.
    -- Pay living wages.
    -- Adhere to all laws pertaining to payment of overtime, minimum wages
       and working conditions.

In addition, G4S should sign a global agreement with UNI that would commit G4S to eliminating workers’ rights violations in India and around the world.

G4S Indian employees guard multinational corporations, banks, and embassies. India’s private sector security industry has increased by one million annually for the last three years, with estimates citing a five-year growth up to 10 million workers.

“G4S holds the key to raising wages and conditions for Indian security workers or to ratchet down standards and deepen the country’s poverty. Unfortunately, G4S has chosen to take the low road, impoverishing workers to increase profit margins,” said Phillip Jennings, UNI’s General Secretary.

The Alliance for Justice at G4S aims to win a global agreement for workers’ rights to join the union of their choice and receive decent treatment, including a living wage and social protection. The complete white paper is here: G4Solidarity ( http://www.uniglobalunion.org/unipropertyn.nsf/EnG4SAllianceCampaign?OpenPage ).

Web site: http://www.uniglobalunion.org

BPP and human rights: A question awaiting an answer


Image

The West Midlands Police Authority allows questions to be put to their meetings by members of the public, perhaps that is unless they are contentious. At the Police Authority meeting on 24th May 2012 the Chair disallowed questions on the Business Partnering for Policing agenda item, in disregard of the level of public interest. Over 30 questions were submitted and we are still awaiting an answer to ours?

  1. How will the human rights record of the shortlisted bidders be assessed against international human rights standards through the procurement process to ensure that they have not committed any acts of ‘grave professional misconduct’ in their commercial activities?
  2. Will the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code be used to assess the compliance of the shortlisted Companies to international labour standards during the procurement process? If not how will you assess the Companies’ compliance to international labour standards?

We will post the answers when we receive them!