Thousands of security guards across the state are demanding answers from the Victorian Government, after this week’s budget failed to address poverty wages, rampant dodgy subcontracting, wage theft and exploitation in the industry.
The way the Victorian Government procures security services for our public spaces and buildings has driven a fall in security guard wages in real terms, relative to the award, of 7 per cent.
United Workers Union Property Services Coordinator Damien Davie said security guards had been calling for action from the government for years to address the systemic issues in the industry that see some workers paid less than minimum wage, when cost of living is skyrocketing.
“Our members have met with state MPs, to share their first-hand stories of living on poverty wages, wage theft and exploitation,” Mr Davie said.
“Security guards across the country took part in a National Day of Action in March, where they rallied at key locations across the country to demand the government and employers listen and take action.
“They have called on the Victorian Government, as the largest procurer of security services, to adopt our Safeguard standards that include a liveable wage and no subcontracting.
“It’s not too much to ask from any government – particularly a Labor government that is supposed to stand up for workers. Instead, the contracts the Victorian Government has procured have seen guards get paid less, have less secure work, and be taken advantage of.
“To ignore these calls for action is an outrageous slap in the face from the Victorian Government to the very workers who kept the community safe and secure throughout the pandemic.
“We thought the Victorian Government would have learned a lesson after bungling the management of hotel quarantine at the height of the pandemic.
“The Victorian Government had the opportunity in this week’s budget to show security guards they matter and are valued, instead, they’re letting history repeat itself by ignoring their responsibility to ensure the places people work and spend time in are safe and secure.
“Our members are angry, and rightly so. We’ve got no choice but to take further action to lift the standards in the security industry and ensure the safety and security of all Victorians.”
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