G4S email sparks student backlash

LUU Joblink, the employment service based at Leeds University Union, has come under heavy criticism after an email was sent to a section of Leeds University students advertising part-time jobs with the controversial British security company G4S.

G4S who operate in over 125 countries worldwide have been accused of facilitating and taking an active role in human rights abuses in South Africa, Palestine, the UK and elsewhere, on top of recently being accused of profiting from a £70 million contract to provide “janitorial services” to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, used by the US to hold terrorism suspects.

The email, which was sent to Leeds University students who have signed up to receiving job vacancies through Joblink, offers part-time security work at ‘prestigious events in Leeds and across the UK’ which includes Headingley Stadium, Leeds United football ground, the Open Golf Championship, T in the Park and this year’s Silverstone Grand Prix.

Will Hutton, president of LUU Amnesty International said: “Personally I feel that G4S forfeited their right to be seen as a respectable and legitimate company for Leeds graduates after the murder of Jimmy Mubenga in 2010.” Before adding: “The fact that G4S also operates prisons, including for children as young as 6 years old, in the Occupied West Bank and an ongoing Amnesty International investigation, means that Leeds University should not be accommodating such an immoral company.”

Bradley Escorcio, LUU’s Union Affairs Officer said: G4S are offering a range of part time job opportunities to students, and as we are committed to maximising employment opportunities for our students we felt it appropriate to advertise these vacancies. It’s of course up to the individual if they choose to apply for a position, and if students feel strongly that we shouldn’t advertise G4S vacancies then I’d encourage them to talk to me about submitting an idea to our forums.”

Greg Whitaker


photo: theguardian.com

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