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Security Association SG clashes with Union over SGAG video depicting security officers

Security Association Singapore criticized SGAG video for fostering negative views of employers. Union of Security Employees countered, highlighting video’s aim to address progressive wage model non-compliance, urging security officers to report violations.



SINGAPORE: The Security Association Singapore (SAS), representing the security services industry, voiced its objections to a viral video commissioned by the Union of Security Employees (USE) on Thursday (2 May).

The video, posted on SGAG’s Instagram account as part of a paid partnership, depicted security officers in what SAS deemed an unflattering light, portraying them as incompetent.

The video, which surfaced on 25 April, featured a comedic skit showcasing two security officers on their first day of work receiving instructions from a building owner or manager.

Shot in a satirical manner, the skit portrayed the officers asking trivial questions about their duties and receiving condescending remarks about their pay under the progressive wage model.

Among the absurdities depicted, the officers inquire about acquiring firearms for counterterrorism and express confusion about taking toilet breaks while on duty.

SAS members found these portrayals demeaning and misrepresentative of their profession.

SAS criticizes viral video for misrepresentation of security officers and employment practices

SAS expressed its objection to the portrayal of security officers as incompetent, highlighting concerns about the video’s depiction of what appears to be a person shouting at and abusing security officers.

The association emphasized the collaborative efforts made by SAS and its tripartite partners to enhance the image of security officers, stating that the video undermined these efforts rather than contributing positively.

In a statement attributed to its executive director Jourdan Sabapathy, SAS took offence to specific phrases in the video, such as “employers tekan (Singlish for ‘putting pressure on’) officers” and references to security officers being required to work “over 100 hours” of overtime.

SAS argued that such statements perpetuated a negative perception of employers in the security industry and contradicted the spirit of tripartism, which promotes collaboration among employers, unions, and the government.

The association clarified that security officers were permitted to work extensive overtime hours due to exemptions issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at the time, rather than being pressured by employers.

“These exemptions allowed agencies to employ officers for overtime that could exceed 100 hours. Employers were therefore not “tekan-ing”officers, they were merely hiring in accordance with the parameters provided by MOM,” the SAS statement defended.

“This having been said, the tripartite partners, including MOM and employers, agreed to abolish the practice of issuing overtime exemptions for security officers precisely to reduce working hours. ”

“To now create ill will against employers by saying they had “tekan” officers in the past is untrue and misleading, ” said SAS.

SAS also contested the use of the term “permanent unpaid leave” in the video, asserting that security officers should have the same rights as other employees in Singapore to negotiate flexible working arrangements.

While acknowledging the video’s intent to address poor employment practices, SAS expressed its belief that the approach taken was inappropriate.

It stated that the video failed to effectively convey its intended message amid the exaggerated portrayal of characters.

SAS requested the removal of the video, though as of Friday, it remained accessible online.

Union and Association clash over portrayal of security officers in viral video

USE responded on Thursday evening, rejecting SAS’ statement in a rejoinder signed by its president Ardi Amir, general secretary Raymond Chin, and executive secretary Steve Tan.

They collectively argued that SAS’ complaints about the video were a “red herring”, diverting attention from the video’s main message.

They emphasized that the video aimed to highlight issues of non-compliance with the progressive wage model within the security industry, encouraging security officers to report instances of non-compliance.

The progressive wage model, a cornerstone of Singapore’s labour policies, establishes minimum wage requirements for workers based on their skill levels and mandates wage increments commensurate with training and skill development.

Additionally, USE addressed concerns about security agencies contracting officers to work maximum permissible hours under the wage model, explaining that officers who wished to work fewer hours were required to apply for unpaid leave, resulting in reduced wages.

USE expressed satisfaction with the partnership with SGAG, stating that it successfully raised awareness of the progressive wage model’s intent and encouraged reporting of non-compliance.

In response to USE’s statement, SAS expressed disappointment over the union’s explanation for not addressing the substance of their concerns and attempting to distract from the issue.

The association highlighted the longstanding exemplary relationship among the security industry’s tripartite partners.

Speaking to TODAY, SAS said the matter could not be resolved privately but reiterated its commitment to continue engaging with USE to settle the matter amicably.

SAS emphasized that they have always stood by USE’s intervention with errant security agencies to protect security officers, provided that these interventions are in accordance with the law.

However, SAS asserted that the SGAG video has hurt officers and employers, prompting them to question USE’s response to this situation.

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How come the Union of Security officers attack their own people they supposed to be representing?

Laugh & the Whole world laughs with you..
Cry …and you cry alone..

Singapore is so “safe” and “low crime” that every gated community, large industrial building needs security guards and security checkpoints.

Singapore is such a “Smart” city, that no attempt has been made by the ruling government to encourage developers to adopt unmanned or fully automated security in their new projects to reduce the manpower burden of the “security” industry.

So many contradictions can be found in Uniquely Singapore.

It’s satire, take it on the chin, … and laugh it off and the nation will laugh with you !!!

Don’t get all uppity and make official statements, … that shows up your absence of a sense of humour and hyper~sensitivity to the most basic of issues !!!

The video was just so funny that you appreciate the wit and talent behind it.
The performance gets your focus rather than the profession.
Creative thinking from USE.

The security guards do work long hours for meagre wages. It is the reason why there are Malaysians in this sector as they benefit from the currency exchange. AI should be able to replace the foreign workers with Singaporeans handling the AI.

same pariahs barking at each other, and the very fact that SG people are rule by foreigners amid low classed that is authorize to taunt, fling and bully them..quite frankly, deserving for the same group of pariahs name differently are the consequence of today’s wanyan.

So so so many many Industrial Buildings, Factories, Commercial Buildings, Govt Buildings, Condominiums etc etc….

And perpetually growing…

So Need more sookooritee guards to man them.

Just how many can you get to fill them from this finite small pool of islanders ?