Security Today

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“Thank you, Mantriji !”, say the guards

web-post April 20, 2017

Recently, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has notified the categorization of security guards as ”skilled workers” and armed security guards and security supervisors as ”highly skilled  workers”. This entitles security guards to receive a minimum monthly wage of Rs 15,000 for skilled workers and Rs 25,000 for highly skilled workers under the central Minimum Wages Act.

With the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party continuing its political juggernaut across states,  Labour and Employment Minister, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya’s promise to the private security industry that his landmark notification classifying private security guards as skilled workers will get acceptance in every state, may yet come true.

After his landmark notification that promises to give a new status to private security guards, the labour minister was felicitated by the International Institute of Security & Safety Management (IISSM) and  Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) in presence of hundreds of private security guards in uniform at the NDMC auditorium in New Delhi on the 8th of March 2017.

The ceremony, that also had Rajya Sabha member and the doyen of the Indian private security industry, Mr RK Sinha, in attendance, was a show where security guards from premier guarding companies like SIS India, G4S, Peregrine, Force Tech and others filled the auditorium. In an effort to show their gratitude to the labour minister the guards cheered every word that the minister spoke.

Praising Mr Dattatreya for the proactive steps he has taken since he taking over as labour minister, Mr RK Sinha said that the minister understood the problems of security guards because he came from a trade union background. Mr RK Sinha informed that the labour minister has ensured that there is ease of work by cutting down 44 labour laws to just 4. Mr Sinha said that the 71 lakh odd private security guards are a force that needs to be used by the government since they have already taken up the supportive role of sharing the responsibilities of police forces across the country.

Mr Sinha, elaborating on the notification details that now classify private security guards as skilled and highly skilled workers, said that so far only the central government organisations could give financial benefits to security guards employed with them. He requested the minister to hold an immediate meeting with labour ministers of all states so that the financial benefits could come to all 71 lakh security guards deployed across the country.

Mr Sinha said that statistics have proved that there were fewer terror hits in controlled environments in India  — meaning wherever guards were deployed the place became safer, which also meant that the guards were effective in their jobs.

Giving a peek behind the scenes leading to the issuance of the notification, Mr Sinha, who worked closely with Mr Dattatreya on the notification, said that the notification had considerable opposition from all quarters, including within the labour ministry itself, but the minister had been determined to have his way, because he saw value in giving the private security guards a better status and more financial benefits.

Mr Dattatreya who was the cynosure of all eyes chose the moment not just to thank IISSM and CAPSI for the honour but also to spell out further benefits that would emerge from the notification. He explained that there were three categories that had been created both for skilled and highly skilled guards. These were categories, C, B and A.

“In the “C” category, the emoluments of Skilled Workers would go up from Rs 293 to Rs 493 per day. In the Highly Skilled category, they would go up from Rs 353 per day to Rs 579 per day.

In the “B” category, the emoluments of Skilled Workers would go up from Rs 353 per day to Rs 579 per day. In the Highly Skilled category, they would go up from Rs 414 per day to Rs 637 per day.

In the “A”  category, emoluments of Skilled workers would go up from Rs 414 per day to Rs 637 per day. In the Highly Skilled category they would go up from Rs 456 per day to Rs 693 per day.

Mr Dattatreya also said that amendments had been carried out in the wages act so all earnings would go straight to the bank to ensure there was no unfair play by employers who would now be accountable if they did not pay the guard what he deserved. This, he said would ensure transparency and action would be taken against violators.

Each statement of the minister was greeted by thunderous applause that vibrated throughout the auditorium. Mr Dattatreya assured the gathering that he would immediately plan a meeting with all labour ministers to ensure that the notification is implemented pan India. “I can promise you that it will be done” he announced.

Mr Dattatreya said, ”The notification regarding the classification of security guards is part of the larger goal of the ongoing labour reforms. It will not only bring enhanced wages to security personnel, but will also provide social security cover to their families.

The minister said that categorising security guards as ‘skilled’ workers and armed security guards and supervisors as ‘highly skilled’ workers will entitle them to a minimum monthly wage of Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively. “This will not only bring enhanced wages to over 50 lakh security personnel currently engaged in the private security space, but will also provide social cover to over 2.5 crore of their family members,” Mr Dattatreya stated.

The decision will also enable private security agencies to recruit, train and employ quality workforce for the sector, which has been a demand of all stakeholders, including security agencies and the public. Mr RK Sinha said, “The next move would be holistic involvement of states in the process to bring all security guards under the organised sector. The minister has instilled confidence in the industry by ensuring the government will work on it as a top priority.”

Mr Sinha said that since all man guarding companies were themselves amenable to the idea that guards should be paid more, there would be little objection that could come even from other states in accepting the notification and adopting it.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Vishwanath V Katti, President, CAPSI, said that the decision taken by the Labour and Employment Ministry is indeed a positive development for the private security industry and it will impact the overall quality of service standards and image of the sector. Expressing his happiness over the major milestone for the security industry, in his keynote address, Kunwar Vikram Singh, Chairman, CAPSI & SSSDC, described the government’s decision as a ”watershed” and a great opportunity to take the industry to the next orbit of growth in terms of better talent quality, higher manpower retention and superior training and certification standards.

Mr Rituraj Sinha, who has been pioneering moves that have finally given private security guards a status that will eventually see them have a much better lifestyle, also gave insights to what the notification really meant for the security guards. Just last month, Mr Sinha had spelled out the details of the notification in a unique Round Table Conference organised by SECURITY TODAY where premier man guarding companies as well as major end users debated on how the notification would change things both for the man guarding companies as well as for the end users.

The high point of the event were the thunderous cheers that greeted the celebration.

MINISTER SPEAKS

1.“Amendments had been carried out in the wages act so all earnings would go straight to the bank to ensure there was no unfair play by employers who would now be accountable if they did not pay the guard what he deserved. This will ensure transparency and action would be taken against violators”.

2.”The notification regarding the classification of security guards is part of the larger goal of the ongoing labour reforms. It will not only bring enhanced wages to security personnel, but will also provide social security cover to their families”.

3.“Categorising security guards as ‘skilled’ workers and armed security guards and supervisors as ‘highly skilled’ workers will entitle them to a minimum monthly wage of Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively. This will not only bring enhanced wages to over 50 lakh security personnel currently engaged in the private security space, but will also provide social cover to over 2.5 crore of their family members,”.

4.“I will be calling a meeting of all labour ministers very soon and impress upon them the need to adopt this notification. And I can assure you that it will be done because there is no problem for them since the guarding companies are willing to pay extra. So they should have no objection”.

5.The security guards should be looked at with the same respect as any other person in uniform because they are also protecting the country in their own way just as any other person in a uniform.

6.“You have a huge responsibility on your shoulders and you have to take that responsibility with dedication because that will lead to your betterment in life and you will prosper and be blessed.”

7.”There are three categories that had been created both for skilled and highly skilled guards. These are categories, C, B and A. “In the “C” category, the emoluments of Skilled Workers would go up from Rs 293 to Rs 493 per day. In the Highly Skilled category, they would go up from Rs 353 per day to Rs 579 per day.

In the “B” category, the emoluments of Skilled Workers would go up from Rs 353 per day to Rs 579 per day. In the Highly Skilled category, they would go up from Rs 414 per day to Rs 637 per day.

In the “A”  category, emoluments of Skilled workers would go up from Rs 414 per day to Rs 637 per day. In the Highly Skilled category they would go up from Rs 456 per day to Rs 693 per day”.

8 “You have to enhance your skills. Learn new things, like first aid training, fire fighting skills, crisis management. This will bring you further development and promotions and hence more money”

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