By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Labour is currently perusing prosecution against three security firms for its failure to adhere to the National Minimum Wage and forty hour work week orders which were introduced this year.
This announcement was made by Labour Minister Dr. Nanda Gopaul during a press conference on Wednesday (December 18).
Dr. Gopaul identified the three firms as Homesafe Security Services, Supreme Security Service and Strategic Action Security Service.
He said Strategic Action Security Service is not paying the order which was introduced since in 2012.
In November, Homesafe Security Services signed a $1.6B contract with the Local Government Ministry to provide security services in the 10 administrative regions. Dr. Gopaul did point out however that failure to adhere to the orders could affect them being granted government contracts in the future.
According to the Minister, 19 cases have been filed so far and more will be filed for all workers who are not being paid accordingly.
Dr. Gopaul added that the assistance of the Attorney General Chambers and that of private lawyers will be sought to ensure that these companies comply with the law.
“Too many persons are underpaid and we will not let it go easily,” the Minister vowed.
He said other companies have not been in violation of the Minimum Wage except for these three firms despite initial challenges. Nonetheless, other commercial entities have also been taken to court resulting from complaints made by employees and inspections done by the Ministry in that regard.
Some 35,000 workers at the lower level are said to have benefited from the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and the forty hour work week orders.
The Minister said inspection have stepped up in all areas with a total of over 2200 being carried out in 2013 coupled with over 1000 complaints from employers over issues like termination, dismissal, payment of overtime among others.
He told reporters that the Ministry has managed to secure $14.1 million from employers for payouts to aggrieved employees.