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16 Oct 2006 14:59
Cash-in-transit security guards will go on strike if the government does not take steps to protect them from armed robberies, the Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU) warned on Monday.
“We will not hesitate to strike if something is not done to stop this carnage and murder, thus leaving ATMs empty, and shops and banks stranded with no way to transport or receive money at their busiest time of year,” said MTWU general secretary Emily Fourie.
“In addition, we will not allow the risk to fall on our colleagues in other parts of the security industry and will call on them to down tools with us in solidarity.”
Fourie said cash-in-transit security guards and security guards at shopping malls and banks were placed at a greater risk during the festive season when crime and cash-in-transit heists increased.
Members of the MWTU and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) threatened to down tools during a meeting with National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi in Pretoria on Monday.
“The meeting was held to discuss the cash-in-transit heist crisis gripping the country, which has seen endless security guards left dead and wounded. And in some cases innocent bystanders are killed in [the] crossfire,” Fedusa’s general secretary Dennis George said.
He said government had an obligation to provide protection to security workers to enable them to carry out their duties.
Army personnel should travel with cash-in-transit vehicles between towns and there should be stronger police visibility in suburban areas.
“This will not just protect the security guards, but holiday makers on the roads and shoppers in the malls as well.
“A strong police undercover programme will deal effectively with deterring and pre-empting attacks,” said George.—Sapa
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