Reputable PSC in Iraq pay dispute

#1
Leafing through old papers came across this. Couldn't find the thread where it had been referred to before (tinfoil hat time? or just navyman)

Diplomatic guards may quit in Baghdad pay row
By Liz Chong and Richard Beeston



HUNDREDS of British security guards in Iraq are being urged to resign en masse next month over a pay dispute that could cripple operations at diplomatic missions and put the safety of officials at risk.
The unprecedented industrial action by staff at Control Risks raises questions about the use of private security companies for tasks such as guarding embassies and convoys and acting as bodyguards for diplomats and aid workers in conflict zones. Since the US-led invasion of Iraq, dozens of private security companies have made hundreds of millions of pounds from dangerous jobs. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent £110 million on private security in the first 2½ years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.



But with less money being spent on reconstruction and more security firms competing for the work, the contracts have become more competitive. Control Risks, whose 450 employees in Iraq provide close protection for British diplomats and aid workers, had its contract renewed by the Foreign Office, but only after it reduced charges by cutting salaries to some frontline staff by 19 to 37 per cent.

Under the new terms a senior team leader, previously paid £340 a day, will earn £275. A second-in-command will see his daily pay fall by more than a third, to £172.

The move prompted a furious response by Control Risks staff, who are recruited mainly from the British military and police. An e-mail obtained by The Times said that there was overwhelming support for mass resignations from June 24.

It said: “We can now count on 68 per cent support from CRG [Control Risks Group] operators in Baghdad alone. This figure may well rise as the news spreads and people on leave check their e-mails. We firmly believe that a figure in excess of 75 per cent resignations is wholly achievable. As support grows in Basra and Kirkuk we hope that similar figures can be called upon. This being the case, then we believe this is enough to make CRG’s position untenable regarding the FCO contract.”

It added: “Remember that the term ‘CRG’ in Baghdad no longer means ‘Control Risks Group’, but is more commonly referred to as ‘Cheap Rate Guys’, which we find as a slur on our reputation.”

The Foreign Office confirmed that it was aware of the dispute: “We have no role in the dispute between CRG and its staff. We will ensure that our staff will continue to receive an appropriate level of security and any disruption to operations will be kept to a minimum.”

The dispute is a blow to Control Risks, which promotes itself as a respectable company in a business that attracts a motley collection of players, including mercenaries and conmen.

Richard Fenning, the chief executive of Control Risks, said that he was proud of his company’s performance in Iraq but that “modest pay cuts” had been necessary.


Italy announced last night that it is pulling 1,600 of its 2,700 troops out of Iraq next month.
 
#2
smallbrownprivates said:
Leafing through old papers came across this.
Under the new terms a senior team leader, previously paid £340 a day, will earn £275. A second-in-command will see his daily pay fall by more than a third, to £172.
I thought these guys were on uber cash, £172 a day for being 2ic of a section that has nowhere near the support that a £100 a day full screw has (trade dependant of course) , no casevac and no no armour or arty support, I don't fcuking think so. I earn more than that on Civvy Strasse and with the exception of the odd mugger tend not to be confronted with locals that wish to deprive me of my life on a daily basis.

I thought these guys were on 7 - 800 a day and that's what I was offered as a "security consultant" due to the line of work I am in (which I obviously turned down or I wouldn't be sitting here baked on wine and brandy typing this), or is that just PR bullsh1t spun by the media and PSC's?
 
#3
smallbrownprivates said:
An e-mail obtained by The Times said that there was overwhelming support for mass resignations from June 24.

It said: “We can now count on 68 per cent support from CRG [Control Risks Group] operators in Baghdad alone. This figure may well rise as the news spreads and people on leave check their e-mails. We firmly believe that a figure in excess of 75 per cent resignations is wholly achievable. As support grows in Basra and Kirkuk we hope that similar figures can be called upon. This being the case, then we believe this is enough to make CRG’s position untenable regarding the FCO contract."
If Iraq is setting a precedent and civillian private security companies are likely to play a significant role in future post-conflict reconstruction zones, how will potential 'strike' action influence post-conflict planning? How do you oblige civvies to remain in a war-zone and if you can't, how can private companies play any strategic role in the planning of post-conflict management?
 
#4
I currently work alongside these guys and they are all pretty miffed that there pay has been cut, this is not the only firm out here to cut prices as the market becomes tighter and contracts harder to win and retain. There real point is that they were warned off of a pay cut which they were not happy about but then the management broke the bomb shell that the paycut was less than previously warned.

Just to correct something in the report, its the team members who have gone down to £172 a day not the 2ic. However these guys do 6 weeks on 3 off and its tax free.

This is pretty much the first time this has happened out here and when firms try this stunt its not normally on this scale as a few blokes will just leave and go to another firm. There is no shortage of work out here for guys with the right experiance and background.

The days of silly money have pretty much gone and £300 is about the norm depending on who you work for and how much of a death wish you have!!
 
#5
These guys need to think carefully before they down-tools. They are only independent subcontractors. There plenty of guys who will fill their boots.

Not a swipe at them, but your PSC footsoldier IN IRAQ is not thought of by PSC management as being in the same league as the guys on the traditional "circuit". There are five year soldiers who left the army in a huff, then there are guys who left after 10-15 years in UKSF or as competent teeth arm officers. Different animals, different day rates.

Things are getting more more and more commercial in Iraq. As contracts come up for re-tender dayrates will fall.
 
#6
Ive taken more than £200 a day in the UK doing AGM and even CP in London.

Theres not a hope in hell's chance of many guys who know they are worth more staying out there for only £28 a day more than they can get working in the UK.
 

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