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18 Mar 2017

Ashleigh Furlong, Ground Up (South Africa)

So. Africa: Security guards dismissed by Securitas during student protests in 2016 at UWC protest against dismissal; say students forced them to leave and not report for work

"Dismissed security guards demonstrate outside UWC", 14 March 2017

On Tuesday, dismissed University of the Western Cape (UWC) security guards demonstrated outside the university, calling for their employer Securitas to reinstate them. The 144 workers were dismissed by Securitas following the student protests last year...On 13 January, Securitas dismissed the workers on charges of being absent from work without permission, “hostage” and “assault and robbery”. The workers admit that they weren’t at work but say they were forced to leave as students had shutdown the university. “On 17 October, we were at work when the students came and removed us,” said dismissed worker… He said the protesting students shut down the campus and told everyone to leave. “And then they informed our line manager that we were not going to work,” he said...Mark Sangster, the director of corporate governance at Securitas, said “Staff absented themselves from the university during a period of student protest – this without our (the employer) permission. We requested them to return to work and also offered to redeploy them to another site if necessary. They did not return to work nor did they respond to our offer of redeployment, so we believed that we had no alternative but to proceed with the charges of absenteeism,”...