Whistleblower guard stood down by Armourguard Security

By   /   February 15, 2017  /   8 Comments

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Armourguard Security have stood down a security guard from a WINZ site because he complained to his union that the company was not taking the guards health and safety seriously.

Armourguard Security have stood down a security guard from a WINZ site because he complained to his union that the company was not taking the guards health and safety seriously.
Dave Toopi, a Unite delegate and union executive member, complained to his union that the new ID check procedure being demanded of WINZ clients put the guards at risk because they have to act at receptionists as well as guards.
Guards are expected to stop all clients, check if they have ID, check if they have an appointment and the time of the appointment. They are holding a folder with sheets of names and appointment times. This creates holdups during busy periods.
The union believes that this can create unnecessary tension between the clients and the guards. The guards are also in a vulnerable position when doing paperwork for WINZ and not in a position to react quickly.
Clients are often in an agitated state given the culture of denial of people’s entitlements that the government has encouraged among the management staff.
Over the last decade, this has seen the number of working age people accessing welfare support fall by 5% when the unemployment rate only fell 2%.
Security Guards at Armourguard also had their RTs taken off them as a cost saving exercise. There is also no one button emergency communication mechanism available to all guards at the company as recommended by the coroner following the death of a security guard in 2013.
These workers are barely paid above the minimum wage yet are expected to be multitasking machines.
Unite will not accept having our member being made a victim of for standing up for the rights of his fellow workers.


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About the author

Mike Treen

National Director of Unite Union


  1. […] Security Guards, themselves poorly paid, are being forced to be WINZ goons and when the Security Guards complain, they get punished by their bosses for speaking out. […]

  2. Priss says:

    Just what we need from this idiot goverfnment, more idiot policies.

    Perhaps if they treated WINZ clients with respect, we’d have fewer irate beneficiaries reacting badly in WINZ offices. I’ve taken my mother to WINZ for her super registration and it was one of the most demeaning experiences one could experience. There was no privacy and the female WINZ client beside us at another desk was in tears for some reason.

    This MUST change!!!

    • aom says:

      Not sure which office your mother went Priss but it seems that the ‘ oldies’ are generally kept away from the ‘riff raff’ by being given specific appointment times, taken from reception to a secluded waiting room by Security, then after a polite unchallenging interview are escorted off the premises, preventing any contact with the non-Goldcarders. New Superannuitants are not necessarily respected but are usually prevented from seeing how abominably WINZ treat society’s most vulnerable, on behalf of a Government that is not just happy if beneficiaries suffer – it makes sure they do!

    • Janine says:

      People are always in tears there. It’s part of the punishment.

  3. Jono says:

    You watch there will be another incident just like the one down in south island. It appears the top brass at winz seem to like to promote these hard nose policies then put staff / guards in harms way. All it takes is someone to be pushed to far and a violent or armed incident could occur .Appears to be a game to MSD they are living in a fantasy or something…

  4. Mike in Auckland says:

    I suggest the staff employed by Armourguard go on strike, raising this issue, but then again, we know, strikes are only allowed by law in rare situations or circumstances.

    They should round up their bosses and sack the bosses, and start the revolution, which is overdue in this country that is so anti any real profound social action and change.

    People, WiNZ clients, workers and others, wake up, for God’s sake.

  5. Strypey says:

    An injury to one is an injury to all. What can WINZ clients do to show solidarity with this worker who has stuck his neck out to highlight the latest absurd WINZ policy?

    Having contacted security guards do the work of salaried public servants is privatization by stealth. It’s an attack on the job security of public servants and turns WINZ into a corporate-run probation service for those guilty only of being excluded from paid work. Are there any public statements from the PSA pointing out why this is unacceptable and demanding a change of policy?