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When you hear the names "Halliburton" and "Blackwater," do you break out in a cold sweat? If yes, then you're probably too high-strung to hear about the Serco Group.
Based in the United Kingdom, Serco is the epitome of the worldwide transnational corporation. When the words "globalization" and "privatization" appear in dictionaries, pictures of the Serco logo should appear next to the entries.
But wait, it gets better. Serco's CEO is Christopher Rajendran Hyman, a South African of Indian descent who was raised in a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian home. And what does he believe makes him such a successful businessman? Well, it's because "what I am successful for is listening to God."
And what hath Gawd ordained for Serco and Hyman to control? Well . . .
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Wikipedia, Serco's worldwide holdings include (but are by no means limited to):
- Detention centers on Christmas Island.
- All seven of Australia's immigration detention centers.
- Half of London's traffic signals and red light cameras, and all of Dublin's.
- The automobile driver's licensing facilities in Ontario, Canada.
- The plurality of air traffic control facilities worldwide, including 58 control towers in the United States, all operations in and around Baghdad, and towers in Dubai and Bahrain.
- The operation of the RAF squadron that flies Queen Elizabeth around the world.
- Too many public transit systems to count.
- A plurality of the private prisons in the United Kingdom, and many more private prisons around the world.
- Electronic monitoring ankle bracelets used to keep track of trial defendants, parolees and asylum seekers.
- All the state schools in the English towns of Bradford, Walsall and Stoke-on-Trent. Serco also runs the inspection services for all the state schools in the Midlands region.
- The UK's ballistic missile defense system, which they have operated since Parliament outsourced it in 1964. In fact, Serco is in charge of all of the UK's nuclear stockpile from development to decommissioning.
- Serco operates support and maintenance services at the following British military bases:
- HMNB Portsmouth
- HMNB Devonport
- HMNB Clyde
- RAF Brize Norton
- RAF Halton
- RAF Northolt
- RAF Ascension Island
- Serco also has the contract to control the setting Greenwich Mean Time.
Not bad for a company established in 1929 as the subsidiary of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) that converted British cinemas from silent film to talkie operations.
- Official Serco videos and YouTube channels:
- Videos that take more "cautionary" stances towards Serco:
- Martinson, Jane. "Happy, touchy-feely and driven by God", Guardian website, 24 February 2006, accessed 24 April 2010. (This is a must-read.)
- But it's more likely because Hyman is such a driven competitor that he wouldn't let his then-seven-year-old son win at go-karting because that would teach his son that "he's better than an adult." What a guy!
- ABC video on Serco