Gargi Bhattacharyya ‘On human rights, Private security corporations and policing privatisation’


Gargi Bhattacharyya speaking on behalf of West Midlands against Policing for Profit speaking at the Public meeting ‘No Private Profits from Policing’ held on 27th September 2012 in Birmingham.

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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


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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!