Transguard Group response
Email subject: Equidem Foundation: Request for response regarding cases of labor exploitation in Transguard Group, UAE
Date: September 2, 2020
From: Communications, Transguard Group
Below please find our response to your recent query:
Up until the global pandemic, Transguard Group had a workforce of more than 70,000. As clients paused or cancelled contracts due to Covid-19, we were forced to transition more than 12,000 employees out of the active work force. This right-sizing included terminations at all levels of the business, from site-based staff all the way up to senior management. This lack of job security and the stress that it leaves in its wake has been felt throughout Transguard and was an unavoidable necessity that is unfortunately not uncommon in the current global economy.
The situation was further complicated by the closure of not only airports in the UAE, but also airports around the world. For Transguard, this meant caring for an unprecedented number of idle staff while they awaited repatriation, not only in terms of providing basic needs like housing and food, but also taking care to ensure their continued health in the wake of Covid-19. These actions include (but are not limited to):
- Free food (three meals every day)
- Free accommodation in rooms that house no more than four individuals
- Free wifi
- Free triple-layer face masks
- Free laundry soap and toiletries (including sanitary items for females)
- Temperature checks at all accommodations
- High touch point cleaning every 20 minutes in every accommodation
- Hygiene reminders provided by video footage and posters
- Social distancing encouraged by signage, floor stickers, videos and support staff
- Strict protocol for suspected and confirmed Covid-19 infections, including the establishment of a dedicated isolation facility that offers individual rooms, free medical checks, wifi and three meals a day
- Cross-training opportunities that allow for otherwise idle staff to be deployed on other contracts as they wait for their original work to begin again
Transguard is fully in compliance with UAE labour laws and makes every effort to ensure that all our practices are legal and ethical. This includes strict adherence to regulations that require salaries be paid in full and on time, as well as ensuring that full and final payments are released prior to employees leaving Transguard’s visa. Please note that “iqama” is specific to Saudi Arabia and has no relevance to employees of UAE-based Transguard Group.
Transguard has always considered the continued wellbeing of its employees to be its top priority and if anything, Covid-19 has strengthened our commitment to provide a safe place to live and work.