G4S costs the taxpayer millions by failing to respect workers’ rights

Submitted by sglenister on Wed, 25/07/2012 - 11:53

25 July 2012

The IER asks why G4S tried to fill 10,400 roles with a deal so poor for workers that Locog does not even expect the guards to turn up for duty.

When 1,200 extra troops were drafted in to save London 2012 due to G4S’ failure to provide the security personnel it promised, Locog Chief Paul Deighton yesterday (July 24th) argued that “you can’t be absolutely certain of anything with a temporary workforce”. He argued it was necessary to bring in the army to provide a “reliable” team of guards for the Olympic Games, instead. The IER - which has long warned that poor protection for workers and of human rights could lead to a shambolic Olympic Games – asks why the multinational tried to fill 10,400 roles with a deal so poor for workers that Locog does not even expect the guards to turn up for duty.

Director of the IER Carolyn Jones commented:

“G4S’s failure to attract enough staff to fulfil its security commitment for the Olympic Games – despite there being nearly 2.6 million people currently unemployed in this country – is further evidence that providing a fair wage and employment conditions does not just benefit workers, but also businesses and the wider community as a whole. What does it say when G4S are struggling to recruit and retain staff at a time when millions of people across the nation are desperate to find a job? What does it show when Locog’s Chief seems fully prepared for temporary workers to leave their positions before the end of the event? It is clear that G4S are offering such a poor deal to employees that people have no incentive to take the jobs, nevermind turn up for work.”

“If G4S – one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world – had offered fair remuneration and good working conditions to its staff, it would have filled the 10,400 positions needed. In 2006 the IER urged Olympic Sponsors to “Go for Gold” when setting employment conditions. Workers are eager for decent jobs not least at the most anticipated event of the year. Instead, the already stretched armed forces have had to provide thousands of troops and the taxpayer will once again be asked to foot the bill, estimated at millions of pounds to fix the mistakes of an inept multinational company more concerned with its own profits than with providing a world class service at this Olympic event.”

- END -

Notes to editors:
CONTACT: Carolyn Jones, 0151 207 5265, cad@ier.org.uk

*In 2006, the IER published Global rights in global companies: going for gold at the UK Olympics - an indepth critical analysis of the issues potentially affecting the delivery of the Games, including workers' rights, human rights, sponsorship and the problem of arranging adequate security.

About the IER

The Institute of Employment Rights was established in February 1989 as an independent organisation to act as a focal point for the spread of new ideas in the field of labour law. In 1994 the Institute became a registered charity.

Our aim is to provide a wide variety of high quality publications which we hope will stimulate debate and analysis about employment law policies and legal developments in industrial relations.

The results of the work of the Institute are published in booklets available for sale or through annual subscription. The Institute also provides short articles (free of legal jargon) for trade union journals and other popular publications. We organise conferences and seminars on topics of particular importance and hold occasional lectures.

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