Security agency Apro and union reach ‘confidential’ settlement over wage, rank dispute

Apro’s deputy managing director Li Xiaowen said Apro is focused on "ensuring officers understand why the adjustments had been necessary." PHOTO: BT FILE

SINGAPORE - An amicable settlement has been reached between local security agency Apro and the Union of Security Employees (USE) following a wage and rank adjustment exercise that caused unhappiness among the company’s staff earlier in February.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, according to a joint statement by Apro and USE on Wednesday.

The statement said that negotiations – held through the Ministry of Manpower – took into account “fair treatment of the affected officers and Apro’s business operations”.

The union had earlier declared a deadlock in negotiations over the right-sizing exercise.

Apro, which employs 1,145 security officers, came under fire from labour chief Ng Chee Meng on Feb 7, when he issued a statement highlighting an unnamed agency’s plans to demote more than 300 of its security guards “unfairly”.

“While the company eventually agreed to retain the officers at their current job ranks and pay them according to PWM (Progressive Wage Model) wages, I am told they now want to make these officers work significantly longer hours. This is not right, and cannot be condoned,” Mr Ng wrote.

Apro’s deputy managing director Li Xiaowen disagreed with this account of events, saying he was carrying out a right-sizing exercise in preparation for adjustments to security officers’ salaries under the PWM.

In Wednesday’s statement, Mr Li said his company is now focused on “ensuring our officers clearly understand why the recent adjustments were necessary and are working with them to address their concerns”.

Both Apro and USE said that they are “committed to strengthening the labour-management partnership in an honest and sincere manner”, starting with having USE representatives sit in on ongoing briefings for Apro’s 362 affected officers.


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