Police have arrested three security guards after they clashed at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus on Tuesday morning.
Guards working for Sidas Security Services arrived at the hospital on Tuesday morning‚ only to find that a new contractor had been appointed and they had to leave the health facility.
“Our management is unfair. They decide to end the contract without telling the security guards. How can that happen to them? They are crazy. What is supposed to happen to their families? This is totally unfair and we will not accept it. Look now. Who is guarding the casualty ward? Who is guarding the psychiatry ward? This is unacceptable‚” said one of the nurses protesting at the entrance of the hospital.
The 167 guards have been waiting to get paid for weeks. They downed tools on October 19 after their employer failed to pay them because the Gauteng department of health had not made payment.
Union leader Teboho Motloung said police had used maximum force to disperse the guards from the hospital.
“Hospital management is claiming that it has terminated its contract with Sidas. They then ordered guards to vacate the hospital. The police used excessive force to chase them out of the hospital. As you can see‚ they have already arrested three security guards without reason‚” said Motloung‚ president of the Trade Union of the Security Industry in SA.
“The nurses are protesting because they are saying they don’t care whether management has terminated the contract with Sidas or not‚ the incoming company must absorb these guys because job losses are not good for anybody.
“From the beginning‚ we as the union have been saying we don’t care what is happening but the most important thing is the safety of the jobs. We are being told that the contract has been terminated but we don’t have proof‚” said Motloung‚ whose union represents the security guards at the hospital.
He said not all the guards had received their payment‚ which is long overdue. Motloung pleaded with the police to release his members. Instead the officers told him to argue the matter at the police station.
As he continued calmly asking why the guards had been arrested‚ more police officers joined the talks aggressively‚ removing him from the scene and driving off with the security guards.
Angry nurses hurled insults at the police. The hospital is still guarded by the police and patients are still being treated by medical staff despite the current violent scenes.