Australia October 10 2018
A security guard who worked at the Commonwealth Games claims he is still waiting to be paid in full, nearly six months after the event finished.
Four security companies – SecureCorp, Wilson, MSS Security and SNP Security – employing about 4000 guards oversaw security at the Gold Coast event in April. Some companies hired their own subcontractors.
Security guard Mark Roberts said the Commonwealth Games job was touted as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but turned out to be a nightmare.
Perth-based Mark Roberts, who was employed by Resolute Security which was subcontracted by SecureCorp, said he was still owed $818.80 in wages and about $700 in superannuation payments.
“I got my first pay 2½ months after I finished work at the Games, once I arrived back home,” Mr Roberts said.
“While I was away, my mortgage went into arrears of $1200 and I had a lot of other bills to pay, so when I finally got my wages it had to go straight to bills.
“I couldn’t even enjoy it.”
Mr Roberts, who has worked in security for 20 years, said the job offer was touted as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but turned out to be a nightmare.
“Before I left for the Games, they made it sound like it was gold,” he said.
“They said [we would] be staying in a high-rise hotel on the beach on the Gold Coast, and get our meals provided and have 24-hour transport.
“It was the complete opposite. They put us up in The Southport School, which had a gastro outbreak before I arrived on April 1.
“They were feeding us at the boarding school, but sometimes I wouldn’t eat the food because it was inedible.”
A spokeswoman for the boarding school confirmed 350 security guards had stayed between March 30 and April 15, but said they arrived after a norovirus outbreak was over.
Mr Roberts told Fairfax Media despite complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the office of Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones, he had been unsuccessful in getting his outstanding wages.
The matter was due to be heard in the Industrial Magistrates Court in Perth on November 26, 2018.
Resolute Security general manager Sean Cooper said Mr Roberts was paid “over and above” what he was due, although there was a slight delay with his pay because of an issue with timesheets being completed correctly.
“This guy is just a pain in the arse, he’s just an idiot, and I don’t want to comment at all,” Mr Cooper said.
“He’s been paid in full, he’s made several complaints to several bodies, we’ve all come up trumps. There’s no case to answer.”
A spokeswoman for SecureCorp spokeswoman said she was unaware of any “outstanding” wages due to Mr Roberts, and added that all subcontractors had been told to pay contractors in line with their awards.
Ms Jones said: “We are aware of this gentleman. He had a payment issue with the security company that employed him directly during the Games.
“It’s disappointing that the company involved has not resolved this with their employee.
“I’ve directed GOLDOC to talk directly with Mr Roberts so this matter is finalised.”
A spokesperson for the Office of Commonwealth Games in Ms Jones’ department confirmed GOLDOC would investigate Mr Roberts’ claims.
“The provision of security services at the Games is a matter for GOLDOC, the statutory corporation established to operationally deliver the Games.
“The state government was not involved in these contracts or operational matters.
“GOLDOC will work with the contractor to investigate concerns raised by any individual security guard.”
She added that the four main contractors had pledged to work with any individual security guard raising concerns to identify and pay any valid claim in a timely fashion in line with the Multi-Entity Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Fair Work Ombudsman said they would “make inquiries” in relation to security guards who were engaged for work at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“As these inquiries are ongoing, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time,” he added.