Sometimes stories like this pop up that barely get any mention, but are pretty interesting and actually tell a bigger story. In this deal, Bahrain is actually trying to get more Bahrainis to work in private security, and this has become difficult to do for these security companies. It is a wealthy nation, and security guard work is not exactly the most attractive occupation.
That, and these security companies would probably have to pay more in order to attract more Bahrainis. I have written in the past about companies like the Fauji Foundation that have been providing Pakistani security contractors for years in Bahrain. Companies like this would have to now contend with having a certain percentage of Bahrainis in their ranks in order to continue working in the country–and would have to eat the cost of increased salaries. But hey, if this is what the king wants, this is what he will get.
You also see a little bit of this type of thing in South Africa currently. There, they have been trying to push through some legislation requiring that security companies operating there must be a majority owned by South Africans. A ‘South-Africanisation’ of the security industry so to speak.
There is also equal protest against such a move. Here is a quote from the Security Industry Alliance about this legislation.
Security Industry Alliance (SIA), an umbrella group of large security firms, said the proposals could cause many companies to “divest, leaving skills, capability and technical support gaps”.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in both countries, and to see if similar deals happen elsewhere? –Matt
Security firms’ plea to Premier
Sunday, December 02, 2012
An appeal has gone out for His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to intervene and save private security companies from closing down and dismissing Bahrainis. Owners of 14 such companies called on the Premier to issue directives to the Labour Ministry to this effect. They said the ministry has disregarded their repeated calls for consultations to reach a satisfactory formula for recruitment and a Bahrainisation percentage to suit the nature of security guard work. Bahrainis had turned away from becoming security guards and they said they had requested the ministry to reconsider the Bahrainisation percentage. They presented recommendations to address the shortage of Bahrainis in the field, notably, reducing Bahrainisation in this sector for a temporary period while raising work visa fees for an expatriate security guard to BD300.