A report on the security industry and conditions for security workers in Gurgaon, India in February 2011.
There are tens of thousand security guards employed in Gurgaon. There is security technology and architecture, there is a system of supervision, but the system is fragile in its inner self.
The watching eye is tired, turning watchtowers and CCTV circuits into an eternal void. Those who are supposed to supervise and secure are too precarious to care.
“We are watch men. Our job is to watch the factory burn. It is not our job to douse the fire. Our job is to guard the ashes, once the factory has burnt down. If someone asks about the whereabouts of the company, we have to provide information: this is where the factory used to stand, it has gone to ashes. This is our job, nothing more. It is our job to guard the factory, not to save it. We don’t manage to save ourselves, how are we supposed to save the factory”
(Conversation with a security guard)
Balaji Security Worker
(Branch Office, Kapashera)
We work 12-hours shifts, no weekly day off. For 30 days of 12 hours shifts we get 5,000 Rs. They take 500 Rs from you even before they hire you. Then they cut 2,000 Rs from your first wage for the uniform. Even if you have stood upright during the 12-hour day-shift all the time, if they catch you sitting down during night-shift they cut 200 Rs from your wage. If the guard from the other shift is ill or off, you have to work 36-hours on stretch – they might give you 30 Rs extra for food then. No ESI, no PF. It feels bad to search the pockets of the factory workers when they leave the factory.
Scientific Management Services (SSS) Worker
(U-28, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon)
For 30 days of 12-hours shift we are supposed to get 6,100 Rs, but only 5,200 Rs are paid. They first said that 650 Rs are cut for uniform and boots, but then they cut 100 Rs every month extra. They cut money for ESI and PF, but neither is given.
Massive Security Workers
(Branch Office, Manesar – Main Office Nehru Place)
Even if you have to work 36-hours on stretch they won’t give you extra money for food. For 30 days of 12 hours shift they pay 5,000 Rs.
Om Security Worker
(Satvari, Chattarpur, Delhi Office)
They pay 5,000 Rs for 30 days of 12 hours shifts and wages are delayed. No ESI, no PF.