Integrated Security Service workers likely to be paid today
Amid a succession of negative publicity, the embattled Integrated Security Service has finally broken its silence on the reasons behind the non-payment of scores of workers.The company says it is aware of the issues that were raised by the desperate security guards and shared with Guyana Times via telephone the reason for theSeveral of the security officers during a picket actioncompany’s shortcomings in the past few months.A representative close to the company explained that when they were acquiring the contract, they received it ‘as was’ and as such, no changes were made to the contracts or the way the system was functioning. They noted that it was until after the first month that they noticed the discrepancies.“There was a number of extensive staffing on locations that was not supposed to be,” the representative stated. They further explained that there were supposed to be two guards working at a location, but it was discovered that there were up to five guards working at the same location. “That’s how the additional payments that they are claiming is coming up,” they explained.Additionally, the company noted that they were unaware of the issue initially, stating that the worker’s schedules and reports had a fixed number of employees and it was until they received the payment sheets that they noticed the additional number of workers. They noted that in December they had 256 employees on file, but ended up paying some 389 employees. In January, the on-record employees climbed to 294, while in February the number was 290. “The first month we could have understood the mistake, the second month it was fixed a little, but the third month was too much,” they stated.The company admitted that it was not in a position to tell workers that it could not pay them because of the inconsistencies and as such, it tried to resolve the matter in a timely fashion. “We have gone above and beyond to provide a good working relationship with our staff; however, our efforts are being undermined by persons within our organisation who we depend on for correct information.”In relation to finding a permanent solution to the problem, the representative stated that, “We have some serious decisions to make, we didn’t want to make those decisions, but they will have to be made.” Alluding to the possibility that the company will have to lay off some of the excess employees, the representative pleaded “Are we just going to pay 500 people when we are supposed to have 200 people?”When asked about how the company planned on moving forward, it was highlighted that the company will have to figure out a way to ‘bounce back’ from this issue. The representative also sought to clarify that the company has no intention of ‘robbing’ staff of their monies. “That is a blatant lie,” the rep stated.It was disclosed that the outstanding salaries will be paid to the aggrieved workers by today.Over the past few months, security guards attached to the company have made cries for help, stating that they are not being paid or are receiving short salaries. Many of the guards are mothers or breadwinners of their families and highlighted that it was difficult for them to provide for their families if they are receiving little to no salaries. On numerous occasions, the security officers have hosted picketing exercises with the main topic being the non-payment of salaries and ill-treatment by senior officials of the company. The distraught workers have accused their bosses of victimisation, stating that whenever they publically voiced their concerns, they were either suspended or fired from the job.Integrated Security provides services for the Government offices and buildings in the Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) areas. The company took over this contract from Homesafe Security. When the complaints were raised, Government officials had distanced themselves from the issue stating that all monies for payment had already been handed over to the security company in a timely manner. To date, Harry Gill of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Abel Seetaram of the Alliance For Change (AFC) have vowed to do whatever they could to assist the workers.