Report finds widespread racism in city taxi industryDecember 3, 2010 - 8:15am
By Declan Tierney
A damning report has accused the taxi industry in Galway City of racism – suggesting that the companies have a policy of not employing Africans.
The controversial report, which will be published next week, says that no taxi company in Galway employs black drivers and accuses the companies of being “private clubs”.
A number of local TDs are also slammed in the report for making statements to the media in relation to “foreign national” taxi drivers operating in the city.
The taxi industry in Galway has hit back, by saying that companies do not employ taxi drivers – each driver is a shareholder and in effect works on a self-employed basis.
One of the leading taxi companies in the city has also accused the author of the report of having little knowledge of the industry and how taxi companies operate.
The survey was conducted by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and claims to verify and document allegations of racism in the taxi industry in the city.
The report states: “Some taxi companies believe their practices can operate under the radar of the anti-racism laws if they become an organisation akin to a private club and each driver is a shareholder.
“They vet newcomers to their business under a silent code and practice. The presumption under which they operate is that there are no consequences to their high probability of racist employment practices in Galway. No taxi company employs African drivers.”
The report was initiated by Dr Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, but has been slammed as inaccurate by the taxi industry in Galway.
Among the 12 recommendations in the report, taxi drivers are urged to attend training sessions on racism as soon as possible.
The report also accuses the public of not observing the “cab rank rule” of taking the first taxi in the queue. A survey revealed that 26% of those who didn’t observe this practice did so because they were trying to find an ‘Irish taxi’.
Gerry Corbett of Galway Taxis refuted the suggestion that there was racism in the industry and accused the author of the report of not being familiar with the taxi business in the city.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.