G4S is the largest employer in the security sector in Europe. The G4S European Works Council, which brings together workers’ representatives from across Europe, has sent an official opinion on the proposed G4S takeover to the company’s shareholders. In it, they outline their concerns and their proposals for the business to succeed.
“Keeping pace with recent market and legislative developments will be fundamental to overcome the company’s impasse in Europe. Its geographic footprint and market leadership should be used to advocate that public authorities and private clients purchase security services based on ‘quality’ and social criteria,” reads the opinion.
Both client and employee retention are vital in this moment of uncertainty, and the company’s current high labour turnover needs to be addressed. The opinion, which made headlines, provides a vision for a growth strategy which consolidates the company’s market leading position, notably through elevating best practice for both public and private procurement.
“G4S can make labour relations a competitive advantage. Through sectoral collective bargaining, it can work with unions to push for strong standards across security services. Competitors that cut corners on workers’ conditions would be forced to either up their game or risk exclusion from the market. By leading on quality services and employment practices, G4S will be first in line when it comes to public procurement contracts, which represent a major share of the private security market,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.
The opinion also highlights concerns related to the compliance of current take-over bids with EU legislation. The opinion further highlights issues around the company’s pension deficits, compliance with highly relevant EU due diligence legislation that is being drafted as well as commitment to the Global Framework Agreement between G4S and UNI Global Union as well as GMB from the UK, where G4S is headquartered.
UNI Europa advises EWCs in multinational companies across the services sectors. The latest on this work, including recommendations to workers representatives, is available here.