THE cash-in-transit (CIT) industry which the Transport Workers Union covers, is one of the most vulnerable in the transport industry for obvious reasons, especially in terms of personal safety.
Workers are expected to secure and move around, in daylight, truckloads of cash.
This can and regularly does make them a natural target for professional thieves and meticulously planned and quite brazen operations - often with devastating consequences for traumatised guards and their families.
In one such hold-up, one of our members had a pistol pointed by a robber into his left eye. This member was bashed by thieves, but they were unable to break into his truck.
Being at the centre of an armed robbery changes the lives of drivers, because it's their livelihood they have little option but to return to work.
In a recent incident last March, four masked men attempted to rob an Armaguard cash-in-transit van in Sydney's Broadway shopping precinct but escaped the scene empty-handed.
This robbery was recorded by an amateur video recorder, with the video broadcast in the evening news and later going viral on the internet.
Not only did this robbery place the guards at extreme personal risk, the effects from which they are still recovering, the entire episode was also turned into a public spectacle.
The robbery could have taken a turn for the worse had it not been for the exceptional security standards put in place by our members and Armaguard in consultation with the TWU.
Thankfully, the vehicles were secured and we were quite relieved that no one was injured and nothing was taken.
This episode once again highlights the dire need for the highest of standards to be maintained in the cash-in-transit industry.
We harbour serious concerns with some companies that have been performing CIT work.
Banks are pushing operators to cut costs going down a path with obvious consequences. I
We, at the TWU will simply not stand by and allow this to happen.
We will not let security standards in the CIT industry drop in the interests of profit.
As we have done in the past, we will continue to push for more security measures for guards so that our members will not have to face the kinds of life threatening risks they face each day at work.
We will push companies to make the welfare and security of workers in the CIT industry a priority.