zaterdag 7 december 2013

Moderne slavernij in Liberia

To Securitas
PO Box 2789, Vai Town, Bushrod Island, Monrovia
Monrovia, December 7, 2013

Dear Madam/Sir,

I am living in a residence which is guarded by your firm.  I have a friendly relationship with your employees.

I asked them –and others- some details about their position as an employee. This raised some questions I wanted to discuss with the management of your company. However, I have a very bad experience with your so called ‘managers’, who never show up in time, keep me waiting for 5-6 hours, almost never answer phone-calls and who are carried in their Securitas cars by drivers who think they can shout to me and insult me.

Having said this I have the following questions.

Your name and company logo do give me the impression that you are a branch of the Swedish based, but in around 55 countries working, company ‘Securitas’. Please take a look at their website

And take a look at your logo:

However, Liberia is not listed on the website of Securitas as a country where they work. Is it right you are no branch of the globally working Securitas, although you use the same name and logo?
For your understanding: I will also send this e-mail to Securitas in Sweden and ask them to clarify.

I understand that it is common practice of your company that you don’t pay your employees what you agreed with them to pay. You force your employees to sign for the amount they expect to receive before you pay them. However, when the agreed salary is 100 USA dollars a month (6 days a week, 12 hours a day), you pay $67 or $70, $85, even  once $92, but never $100, followed by the statement from your side:  if you are not satisfied, you can leave the job.
I spoke with an employee of you, not at our place, who is working for almost two years for you and never ever received the full amount of money you should have to pay him.
I would like to hear your opinion on this.
And I would like to hear from you why you don’t pay them through a bank account, like other security companies do, so the transaction is transparent and accountable.

According the Liberian Labor Law the normal working day is 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week (art. 701). Your employee should earn $75 a month. You also have employees who work 12 hours a day. You pay them –in theory-  $100 a month. However, according the Labor Law ( art. 730) extra hours above the 8 a day shall be paid for at a rate not less than fifty percent above the normal rate. This means that an employee who works 12 hour a day should have a monthly salary of at least $131,25 and not $100.
Can you explain why you offend the Liberian Labor Law?

According the Liberian Labor Law (art. 802 and 803) an employee who has to work on a public holiday will be paid for at a rate not less than fifty percent above the normal rate. This never happens at your company.
Can you explain why you offend the Liberian Labor Law?

According the Liberian Labor Law (art. 1502) there has to be a written contract between employer and employee when the period exceeds 6 months. Employees I spoke with, and who are longer than 6 months on your pay roll, never ever received a written contract.
Can you explain why you offend the Liberian Labor Law?

According our information you give your employees sanctions, by giving them even less salary than mentioned before, because they should offend your company rules, regarding wearing an uniform, hairstyle etc. However you didn’t give your employees these rules written on paper, nor did you inform them in writing about these sanctions. Is this right?

Your payday is not clear for your employees, because it is not fixed on a specific day. You pay at the workplace. If the payday happens to be on a day the employee has his rest day, he or she is obliged to go to the workplace and often have to wait for hours before someone of your company shows up. And sometimes it happens that nobody of your company shows up at all. If the employee is too ill to come to the workplace he or she will not be paid at all.
Please your comment on this.

I could go on with quoting articles from the Liberia Labor Law (on the right of annual leave, rest periods, leave for elections etc) you are offending according my knowledge, but for the moment this is it.

I walked around and asked security workers from other companies. They all know the stories of your company treating your employees so badly. They tell me your workers are crying and desolate.

I would highly appreciate it if you answer the questions I raised within a period of six days. If not, or not satisfying, you may understand I will find ways to raise awareness on the way your company treats its employees.


Jacq Turel

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