“We are the fifth wheel of the carriage while without us, France is at a standstill”: the observation is bitter for this 32-year-old agent, head of post in a supermarket in Paris. He particularly denounces the lack of protection: “Sometimes I have to bring my own masks back”. Despite everything, if it had to be done again, “I will go back, we must eat well”, assures the agent who lost a former colleague a few weeks ago, died from the consequences of the Covid-19 at 58 years old when ‘he worked at Roissy airport.
According to representative organizations in the sector, around ten agents have died since the start of the pandemic in France: eight according to the CGT and fifteen according to the French Federation of Private Security (FFSP).
150,000 agents mobilized across France
Supermarkets, hospitals, nursing homes, public buildings, etc. Around 150,000 security personnel have been mobilized in France “since the very beginning”, on March 17. All say they are “on the front line”, especially in hospitals and nursing homes, where they carry out access control, surveillance rounds, compliance with instructions or palpations.
“We just want a message of support from Christophe Castaner, our minister responsible, a little recognition,” laments Cédric Paulin, secretary general at Groupement des Entreprises de Sécurité (GES), the employers’ organization in the security sector. private security.
Harold Heredia, CEO of the Lynx company, assures him: “We do with the means at hand, it’s the D system”. “We have a big problem with personal protective equipment (PPE), I had to make masks and visors with 3D printers”, he insists, while maintaining that the 1000 employees are today protected.
Work stoppages are increasing
This lack of protection leads to an increase in work stoppages. “Between sick people, people who have been in contact with sick people, work stoppages for childcare and withdrawal rights, we certainly reach more than 10,000 people in arrest, the impact is unprecedented,” says the president. of the FFSP, Claude Tarlet. A lack of manpower which will cause a “big tension”, according to GES, in particular for the deconfinement because “the traditional needs will return”.
Another concern for the sector: the drop in activity which is around 25%, due to the complete shutdown of the events sector and the closure of airports, both large employers of security guards.
This is the case of Yannick Lorphelin’s company, Cyno Explo, a private security company specializing in detection dogs: “All the activity is stopped because we are working only with event providers”, explains the director who employs a network of ten independent agents. He had in mind the canceled Vivatech show.
Faced with this, the Lynx company, which currently has 70% of its employees in the field, had to redeploy its agents: “We transferred our agents, normally to the courts or airports, to logistics sites and supermarkets that still need surveillance, “said Harold Heredia. “While some staff had to be put on partial unemployment, others had to work overtime to make up for the absence of some,” said Claude Tarlet.
Also “on the front line”, all claim a bonus of 1000 euros like the employees of the large distribution. “But it’s impossible, with the drop in activity, I can’t afford it,” said Harold Heredia, CEO of Lynx.