On July 3, a G4S employee providing services as a security officer was murdered in Cali, Colombia, a city known for its high crime rates. Members of the union UNTRAG4S held a rally to show of support for their former colleagues’ family and to demand that the company adopt the necessary security measures for its workers.

According to the union, officers are often put on high-risk assignments alone (and unarmed), as was the case when the recent tragedy occurred, instead of in pairs as required by regulations. The union has told the company that it is in breach of Decree 1072 (2015) regarding Occupational Health and Safety, but G4S continues to require its workers to carry out their duties in conditions that threaten their physical integrity.

Oscar Claro Orosco, security officer and President of the UNTRAG4S Cali division, said that the company knowingly putting workers in danger is shameful. “G4S is thinking about making money, not the health or life of its workers,” he concluded.

In recent months, UNI Americas has documented a pattern of management problems at the company throughout the regional, receiving reports from affiliates in Peru and El Salvador, where workers have protested to demand protective equipment and occupational health and safety.

Marcio Monzane, UNI Americas Regional Secretary, noted: “We are very concerned about the physical integrity of private security workers. G4S should pay attention and listen to the union’s requests. Immediate actions must be taken to safeguard the lives of its workers in Colombia, Peru and throughout the world, especially in countries where violence is a daily reality.”

UNI Americas