News

Security officers alert to trickery

by Harischandra Gunaratna

Employees of a security agency in Colombo 14 are protesting over the arbitrary manner in which its management treats them and its failure to pay the salaries promised to them.

Some employees of this shady security agency yesterday accused the top management of the company of not returning the originals of their certificates, which the management had taken from them when they were interviewed for the jobs. Most of the employees in the company felt that the Managing Director, who is a lawyer by profession, and its General Manager are trying to blackmail them. N. R. Sunil Pathmaraj, a father of two from Gampaha, who had been employed by City Alert as an OIC, told The Island that he had been promised a salary of Rs 8,500 but paid only Rs 7,500. Out of this amount they were continuously deducting Rs 300 monthly for the shirt, tie and the epaulets although we were given only one set of those items mentioned. Although the City Alert top brass promised us ETF and EPF the company doesnt contribute although they have to do so according to Labour Laws which governs these security firms, he said adding that the company has in its employment around 500 people.

Pathmaraj said, "I was employed at this agency since June and I was one of the victims of the company's arbitrary treatment. I tendered my resignation on November 2, as they didn't pay me the promised salary. Then the management transferred me to a place in Piliyandala, where I found it impossible to travel as it takes around 12 hours for the journey up and down from Gamapaha and costs me a lot of money for travelling." A man who is paid only Rs 7,500 can't afford the bus fare from Gampaha to Piliyandala.

But Pathmaraj said this is ruse adopted by the company`EDs management, people get sick of their jobs and leave under these conditions. Then they employ another set of security guards promising sun and moon as there are a lot of unemployed in the country who will work for a pittance

Pathmaraj said when he was transferred to Piliyandala and he declined to go to the new post, the General Manager asked him to get out. After this incident when he walked into the Armour Street police station to lodge a complaint against this agency the police officer at the complaints desk refused to entertain my complaint as there were 1000 complaints against this particular agency and he was directed to the Kotahena police to seek justice. The officer there had told him that the Kotahena police had already advised more than 10 people to report to the Labour Department.

 

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