12th February 2016
On the instigation of members of Private Security Firms, a meeting was convened with the Attorney General Minister of Labour and Public Safety the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin on Friday.
During the Course of the meeting the representatives of the Private Security Firms recommended that the minimum wage for private security workers be raised to $9.50c per hour.
All representatives at the meeting collectively agreed that, the increase will be a major boost for the security sector and will also elevate the overall work ethic and moral of workers.
Those present also recommended that all security bodies registered within the twin island state become members of the Antigua and Barbuda Private Security Alliance.
The group currently holds a membership of 7 security firms, although the Labour Department currently holds a record of 21 registered security firms currently operating in the country.
The Antigua and Barbuda Private Security Alliance members stated that “in unity there is strength, and once other organizations come on board, the private security industry will become more organized, with everyone following one set guidelines and standards.”
The Minister of Public Safety commended those present for making national security a priority and lauded them for being brave enough to make such a bold recommendation, which he gladly accepted.
“Persons are exposed to harm and injury and possible death in this particular sector, the recommendation for the minimum wage in the Private Security industry to be increased is warranted and necessary, it would demonstrate the capacity of security firm locally to properly provide for their workers,” the Minister stressed.
Benjamin continued, that firms who are unable to meet the proposed minimum requirement of $9.50 for industry, should join forces with the Private Security Alliance where measures can be put in place.
The Labour Minister said that the security industry in the twin island state lacks competitiveness when compared to other companies around the OECS and the world; he added that with the newly proposed increase, local firms will be on secure standings.
He mentioned that, the new rates would indeed attract competent individuals, as private security forms part of the country’s National Security Strategy to ensure that all are secured within the Antigua and Barbuda.
Members of the Private Security Alliance commended the Minister for being open to such discussions, which will bring positive results not only to National Security, but social and economic benefits on a whole.
Also present at the Meeting was Labour Commissioner Eltonia Rojas who also supported the proposed private security workers minimum wage hike and Inspection Officer Lorraine Merrifield.
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