A GROUP of guards employed by the Rubicon Security Services are up in arms against their employer, accusing the company of “cheating” them.
The company, however, insists that their complaints are unfounded.
The guards are alleging that an amount of N$200 is deducted from every guard’s monthly wage to cover transport expenses even though some of them do not use company transport.
They also accused the company of deliberately reducing the number of working hours of the guards deployed at the Coca Cola soft drinks plant at Oshakati “in order to reduce their remuneration”.
They allege that guards deployed at Coca-Cola were supposed to work a 12-hour shift like all others, but they are allegedly forced to knock off after working only seven to eight hours, negatively affecting their monthly wages.
Guards are allegedly paid between N$8.00 and N$10.00 per hour.
The aggrieved guards further claim that Rubicon Security Services also runs “a cash loan” for its employees.
According to them, when an employee has a personal problem and needs money, he or she is not given a salary advance, but is rather given a cash loan that is payable in full, plus 30% interest, at the end of that same month.
Rubicon has riposted to the allegations, dismissing them all as unfounded.
With regards to the N$200 deduction, Rubicon’s Michael Bingham said that the matter was already dealt with in a court of law.
He said that the deductions are common practice in the security service industry.
“The fee relates to vehicle expenses incurred by the employer to cover for costs related to the inefficiencies of the employee … this is part of the employment agreement and the Labor Court has recently ruled in our favour to carry on with this practice,” said Bingham.
The matter of “unfair deduction” was brought by Josua Israel & 25 Others against Rubicon Security Services and was dismissed by the Labor Court at Tsumeb on 29 March 2021.
Bingham also dismissed as untrue the allegation that the company did shorten the working hours of its guards, posted at Coca-Cola as loss controllers, in order to save on salaries.
“Our contract with COKE stipulates that loss controllers work only a certain number of hours,” he said, adding that the company assists such guards to accumulate more hours per month by rotating them, posting them to guard Coca-Cola houses.
Bingham also addressed the issue of the cash loan.
“Rubicon Security also has a Cash Loan division registered with Namfisa and has branches in most of the towns in Namibia. Rubicon does not just loan money to anyone. If a guard or employee wants to borrow money, then that person must follow the same channels as a private individual and apply for a loan and if he/she qualifies, then he/she will get a loan with interest and the amount will be deducted from the next salary. But if the amount is too big, it is deducted in instalments. The 30% interest is allowed by Namfisa. That is how cash loan companies make their money,” he said.