Car guards pay more to work

2011-05-11 00:00

HAYFIELDS Mall car guards have expressed their frustration over exorbitant charges they have to pay to ensure shoppers’ cars are safe.

The car guards must pay R60 a day during the week and R40 on weekends to a company that heads the security operations in the mall.

They described the fee as “too high” considering that they also buy their own uniforms. A shirt costs R90, and a jacket R150 and they are required to wear hats.

They said the fee was raised from R25 or R30 when the new security service company took over in April. The guards depend on tips from generous shoppers and said they get to take very little home after a day’s work.

A guard who didn’t want to be named in the paper told The Witness: “Days are not the same. Sometimes I go home with R150 or R170, but then it depends on the day.”

The guard said he works for 11 hours a day and has worked at Hayfields for about 10 years.

He said the management told them that the fee pays for office space. They countered that they do not use the office except to pay the fees.

“No R60. No job,” he added.

Another man who has been working as a car guard for 15 years described the fee as a “rip-off”.

Hayfields centre manager Candice Kistasamy said they employ a company to provide a security service and do not deal with the guards directly.

John Arvanitakis, chief executive officer of Nogada Guarding Services, the company employed by the mall, said the fee is for administration and uniforms, which he said the guards do not have to pay for themselves.

“That’s not true,” he declared when told the car guards said they buy their own gear. He insisted that the car guards receive their uniforms for free.

“We’re a legitimate company and we’re good to everyone. We’re trying to create jobs.”

The company secured a contract from the centre for the guards to work in the premises.

“Back in the day people would just help. They [car guards] would just assist customers with their trolleys, patrol and help the security.” But the industry has become more formal over the years and now they assist the main security guards as well, Arvanitakis explained.

The guarding service has operations at malls all over the country.

Arvanitakis said every company has its own rules and regulations and people choose whether they want to work or not. “We don’t take all their money. They earn more than the normal security guards. Their take home pay is R2 000 to R8 000 a month,” he added.

Most car guards said they fear that their jobs are on the line. The security company bosses met them yesterday to discuss the issue and have warned them against speaking to The Witness.

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