Trade reps of the Glasgow Branch of the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) are claiming that G4S security guards at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) are acting with discrimination while selectively deciding which private hire drivers to permit access to the site and which to deny.
This follows reports that the union has received from their members claiming that G4S security staff at Glasgow’s SEC and Ovo Hydro venue are denying private hire drivers access to the pickup and dropoff zone of the campus during live events.
The Chair of ADCU’s Glasgow Branch, Eddie Grice, said: “We are receiving extremely concerning reports from our members regarding site access for private hire drivers to the SEC.
"A pattern of racial discrimination seems to be forming where drivers from BAME backgrounds are being denied access to the pickup and dropoff zone while non-BAME drivers are telling us that they are being allowed in without a problem.
“We were ready to challenge G4S, the SEC and Ovo Hydro about private hire drivers being denied access to the site when the reports first started coming in, but when we discovered that a discriminatory pattern was emerging we were absolutely appalled.
"This is a situation that cannot and will not be tolerated.
“Our members are mobilising and preparing to stage a protest at the SEC if the situation is not resolved and if G4S do not apologise for discriminatory treatment that drivers have received.
"If a satisfactory response is not received from G4S and the SEC then we stand prepared to stage high-impact industrial action.
“ADCU members have shown many times before that they will turn out in large numbers and stand together to fight injustice and poor treatment. We are ready to do so again.”
Mohammed Umer, a member of the union said: “I was dropping off a passenger at the Steps concert, but was not allowed in to drop off my passenger and was ordered by security to drop off on the main road instead.
"That just isn’t a safe location. First, it’s a double yellow, but also the driver side of the car opens into busy traffic and the other side against a wet, grassy hill. The local authority surely needs to look at the safety of that.
"When I tried to go in, the security started screaming and shouting at me, very aggressively, telling me I couldn’t get in.
"But, later on a friend of mine, who in police language would be classed as IC1 white, was allowed access. He has this on his car’s CCTV.
"I can’t say for sure what is going on, whether it’s discrimination or whether it’s a management issue or whether it’s just poor training, but what I do know is that it’s just not right.
"It just makes me sad. It’s sad that something as iconic as the Hydro can’t get its house in order and stop profiling people based on job or colour.
"It’s just very, very sad. There’s no other word to describe it.”
Mohammad Vaqas Mahmood, another member of the ADCU, said: “I was pulling up to the SEC and saw two drivers ahead of me standing at the road into the SEC and they were arguing with the security guards.
"The guards were shouting at them to move their cars and saying we were not allowed in, but they were letting some taxis pass.
"It looked like the security was causing more chaos than they were trying to prevent.”
The union also says that private hire drivers being denied access to the site gives rise to various legal and licensing concerns over and above the discrimination claims.
Mr Grice said: “There could very well be a problem for drivers in regards to licence conditions if all this is not resolved.
"The licences held by drivers have a condition attached that states that they shall be bound to fulfil hire requests, which have been accepted, at the time and location specified.
"So, if drivers have accepted a pre-booked journey request at the SEC or Hydro, then per the licence conditions, the driver is bound to show up and carry out that journey.
"If they are then being denied access to the site then, strictly speaking, G4S and the SEC are causing the driver to be in breach of licensing conditions.
“That’s not all though, guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on public transport for public events states that ‘safe and convenient’ access should be maintained for transport providers.
"There is case law that says private hire cars are a form of public transport, so this raises the question: If private hire cars are a form of public transport, and the HSE says public transport should have safe and convenient access to event sites, then why are G4S denying some private hire drivers safe and convenient access to the SEC?”