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No compromise between UWC security company and 144 dismissed workers

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Guards have been out of work for four months

Photo of protesting Securitas security guards
UWC security guards dismissed by employer Securitas demonstrated outside the university in March. Archive photo: Ashleigh Furlong
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Representatives for dismissed Securitas employees and company management met Tuesday to discuss reinstatement to their posts at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), but did not reach an agreement.

“There was no movement from their previous proposals,” Palo Khaile said. Khaile is one of 144 workers who were dismissed in January following Fees Must Fall protests at UWC. He serves as one of several delegates for the group.

The workers’ representatives say that the Swedish security firm rejected their requests to be reinstated as Securitas employees stationed at UWC, only saying they could shorten the time needed to organise their re-employment at other Securitas-guarded properties from 24 to 18 months.

They say the company cited bad press and a “lack of trust” between the two groups as reasons for their refusal to re-employ the workers at UWC. The firm also said that bringing the dismissed personnel back to UWC would mean “risking their business” because the staff are “influenced by students,” Khaile said.

The workers now plan to rally learners at UWC “to notify all students that this battle is not over and there is nothing that we can do now other than… to put pressure on the University of the Western Cape,” Khaile said.

Securitas did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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