G4S: Globalising Injustice

G4S, the world’s largest private security company, represents the new ideology of security in a neoliberal world. The company’s rapid growth is driven by the privatisation of security, warfare, prisons and a range of public services.

G4S is emblematic of the British Private Military and Security industry. War on Want is calling on G4S to end its complicity in human rights violations across the world.

Update: After our years-long campaign targeting G4S, the company sold its entire Israeli subsidiary in December 2016, proof-positive that campaigning works!

'G4S shame on you'

 

How G4S makes its money

Supporting Israeli Apartheid

G4S provides services to the Israeli prison system making it complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine and the unlawful imprisonment of Palestinians, including children. By outsourcing occupation-related work to G4S, the Israeli state frees itself from accountability for human rights violations and breaches of international laws.

G4S provides:

  • security services and systems to prisons in Israel known to hold political prisoners without charge or trial and child prisoners between the ages of 12-17.
  • security services to detention and interrogation centres known for torturing prisoners, including children.  
  • equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall.

Privatising government services

G4S’s role in the privatisation of government services in the UK has led to a trail of financial and human rights abuses. G4S has been an important ‘outsourcing partner’ for the UK government, covering a wide range of services including military, justice, police and welfare. The most controversial part of the company’s business with the government includes prison and immigration services. The problems of connecting prison services to corporate profit have quickly revealed themselves.

G4S faced a fraud investigation into overcharging the government between 2005 and 2013 for electronic tagging of prisoners. G4S agreed to repay £109 million plus tax for overcharging on contracts after it became apparent that G4S (and its main competitor Serco) were defrauding the government and charging for dead prisoners and in some cases prisoners outside the country.

Profiting from conflict

In the world’s conflict zones, G4S seeks out new profit opportunities, escalating militarisation and increasing instabilityG4S exploits state crises caused by wars, regime change and state failure.

Hired by governments and companies to perform operations previously carried out by national military forces, private military and security companies are the modern equivalent of mercenaries: armed civilians operating for profit in conflict zones. G4S is one of the UK’s most reviled companies engaged in conflict related profit making the world over.

Violating workers’ rights

The handsome profit G4S earns from contributing to global injustice goes to its top managers, shareholders, investors and advisers, who connect the global giant to government contracts. Employees of G4S, on the other hand, have faced precarious labour contracts and poor working conditions, leading to disputes in over a dozen countries.

An agreement reached between Union Network International (UNI) and G4S in 2008 covers, in theory, all the workers G4S employs globally. According to the agreement, G4S will respect rights defined by ILO Conventions covering freedom of association, the use of forced labour and child labour, and discrimination at work. However, the framework agreement has been unable to force the company to comply with international labour standards or local labour laws. 

Stop Arming Israel

Join the call for an immediate two-way arms embargo on the arms trade with Israel

Latest news

Fashion brand Uniqlo’s sponsorship of Tate Modern in the spotlight over garment worker exploitation

23 February 2018 - 4:15pm
Last night, campaigners projected a series of messages to UNIQLO CEO, Tadashi Yanai demanding that the Japanese fast fashion chain takes responsibility for 2000 workers, collectively owed $5.5 million in unpaid wages and severance payments.
 
 
Read more

Comment: Supreme Court must find for worker's rights in gig economy case

20 February 2018 - 11:30am

Speaking ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the ‘Pimlico Plumbers’ Gig Economy Case, Owen Espley Labour Rights campaigner at War on Want said:

“The supreme court case must confirm what many courts have already decided, that claiming these workers were self-employed is a ploy to dodge taxes and deny worker’s rights, such as holiday and sick pay.

Read more

Join the conversation

Support the #McStrike! Call on #McDonalds CEO to recognise the McStrikers’ union! #EndPrecariousContractshttps://t.co/XMYxB9uf0w 47 min 44 sec ago
RT @Art4PalestineUK: @WarOnWant @Jafrasha @Remroum @TamerNafar @BZephaniah @RichMixLondon @MarsmUk So proud to have been associated with #S 14 hours 28 min ago
"Many people remember apartheid as a dark chapter in the history of #SouthAfrica and the world. But for the Palesti… https://t.co/aIgS9OarDv 23 hours 45 min ago