Unionised workers from Prosegur in Chile drive 80 armoured vehicles to the Presidential Palace after the death of their colleague, Rafael Pardo Triviño

On 31st July 2015, security guard Rafael Pardo Triviño was killed during the course of his work for Spanish security company Prosegur in San Antonio, Chile.

UNI Global Union is asking for a full enquiry into the circumstances surrounding Mr Pardo’s death and what more the company could have done to prevent it and similar deadly attacks.

UNI says the number of attacks and avoidable deaths of Prosegur staff in Chile is unacceptable. According to Prosegur’s 2014 Annual Report, 18 company employees were killed at work during that year alone.

Tell Prosegur this is not acceptable, the life of employees is more important than the financial interests of its clients. 

UNI Global Union’s Head of Property Services, Alice Dale said, “Security work, and particularly the transportation of valuables is inherently dangerous work. That is a given. What is unacceptable is for a leading industry multinational company to continually refuse to implement safety procedures that are available, used within the industry and even their own company in other parts of the world, needlessly risking the lives of their employees in South America.”

Prosegur workers in Chile say the company is not doing enough to properly protect them. In a show of strength unionised workers from Prosegur in Santiago de Chile drove 80 Prosegur armoured vehicles belonging to the company to La Moneda, the Presidential Palace in Chile where they presented a letter to the country’s President Michelle Bachelet.  The letter complains about the constant catalogue of assaults and violence against workers employed by the giant Spanish security company, Prosegur.

In their letter to President Bachelet the union wrote, “Workers are always blamed for these assaults due to noncompliance with security protocols, generating a wave of criticism against workers by society in general. Those that are least responsible are the workers who are victims of this criminality, on the one hand, and on the other are the cash-in-transit companies, who ignore improvements required by authorities.”  The union asked for a tripartite panel to be set up that, would include the government, security companies and the union to discuss ways to make these jobs safer.

The union representing the security guards has blamed Prosegur for requiring the workers to pick-up approximately US$1,000,000 from the San Antonio branch of Banco de Chile, and continue making stops in the town for approximately seven hours. By leaving the armoured vehicle on the road for this period of time, rather than taking the large amount of money directly back to the company’s Santiago base, the union alleges that workers were vulnerable to attack and thieves were given ample time to prepare their assault. The union has been outspoken in the past about disagreeing with this cost-cutting approach that jeopardizes the safety of guards and the financial interests of clients.

UNI have said they will work with affiliates to produce a report on the deaths of workers such as Mr Pardo and other serioud assaults that they can use in working with the tripartite panel in Chile, with specific recommendations on how the number of avoidable deaths can be significantly reduced.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Mary Mclaughlan

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