Guardsman senior management takes salary cut
The executive management of the Guardsman Group of Companies has agreed to a salary cut as the island’s largest security firm explores measures to provide greater support to its workforce comprising over 7,000 persons, amid the economic downturn caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.
Managing director of the Guardsman Group of Companies, Vinay Walia, said the executive management team has taken the unprecedented decision to accept a salary cut of between 20 per cent and 50 per cent in order to prevent any layoffs or redundancies as businesses curtail operating hours and scale back on security services.
“What we are doing is preparing ourselves, and the executive management team came together and took a decision that in anticipation of things to come and to reduce the pain as much as possible going forward, they are willing to accept a salary cut of between 20 and 50 per cent,” Walia explained.
The Guardsman Group managing director said the gesture by the senior management team, which comprises about 25 persons, will enable the firm to forgo any separation among the workforce for another month.
“We have lost a lot of business, and while we continue to provide sanitisers and assistance, which is unprecedented because we have never experienced anything like this, we are making sure that our staff is OK and we don’t get to a stage of layoffs and redundancies,” he noted, adding that “we believe it will be a long battle, it is something we are (expecting) to go from April and May to June, and what we are hoping for is that it does not get worse for us.”
Walia said, “If April is a good month for Jamaica, then no further hard decisions will have to be taken.”
But Guardsman Group Chairman Kenny Benjamin is confident that the 43-year-old security company will be able to weather the storm during the current period of instability.
“The Guardsman Group of Companies are no strangers to testing times. We are a group that has withstood the test of time and have proven time and time again, over the last 43 years, that together we can,” Benjamin said.
In the meantime, the Guardsman Group chairman is assuring its clients that the firm will continue to deliver the usual high-quality service to which they are accustomed amid the instability. Benjamin stressed that the firm is also ensuring that guards are sensitised about the virus, and that they are properly equipped with all the necessary safety gear and sanitation supplies to safeguard their health while on the front line.
He expressed confidence that Jamaicans will rally in support of the country’s health authorities as they intensify efforts to contain the spread of the virus, and that the nation will emerge stronger and more resilient from this unprecedented global crisis.