Glasgow 2014: How hundreds of Commonwealth Games security staff had to live in squalid conditions inside makeshift camps

Reposted from the Daily Record

GUARDS for Glasgow 2014 worked 12-hour shifts for two weeks straight and had to sleep in tents without proper beds or running water.

Up to 30 security staff were packed into each tent.

THE squalid conditions inside camps used to house Commonwealth Games security staff can be revealed today.

Hundreds of workers ferried to Glasgow are doing round-the-clock shifts then having to sleep on blow-up mattresses on flooded wood floors.

Paul Smith was among hundreds of staff brought to Scotland from north-west England to bolster the Games’ security operation.

Paul, 29, said he and his colleagues were told they would be put up in student accommodation.

But instead they were housed in tents pitched on a rugby field 10 miles outside Glasgow and driven to and from the city for marathon shifts lasting up to 15 hours.

Paul, a registered security guard, told the Sunday Mail of his shock at the temporary accommodation.

He said: “I took one look at the tents and just thought, ‘Oh dear.’

“There was big demand for guards for the Games and people who have worked in the sector before were offered a two-week contract.

“It was long hours and I was under no illusion about that – 12-hour shifts, seven days a week for two weeks, at £7.50 an hour.

“We were told it would be student accommodation but it was clear it was some kind of rugby field with marquees on it where we would be sleeping.

“The floor was just temporary wooden boards with mattresses laid out for workers and there was no running water.

“I’d arrived in a bus with about 20 other people. Three of them took one look at the accommodation and just chucked it on the spot.

“Two more left on the second day and another on the third. The whole thing has been a disaster. I wish I’d stayed on the bus.”

Workers will stay at the tents, pitched at Cumbernauld Rugby Club, near Condorrat, until Tuesday.           

SUNDAY MAIL ONLY Paul Blake, age 29, from Liverpool. Security guard with SIA license brought in for the Commonwealth Games and forced to live in squalid tented accommodation at Cumbernauld Rugby Club. Paul near the site after his sacking for complaining too much. FEE PAYABLE FOR REPRO USE FEE PAYABLE FOR ALL INTERNET USE In using this image you agree to abide by terms and conditions as stated in this caption. All monies Payable to Tom Ross (PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THIS CAPTION) This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news). Any commercial or promotional use requires additional clearance. Copyright 2014 All rights protected. First use only. Contact details Tom Ross 07810 823 821 No internet usage without prior consent. Tom Ross reserves the right to pursue unauthorised use of this image . If you violate my intellectual property you may be liable for damages, loss of income, and profits you derive from the use of this image.
Paul says several colleagues quit on the spot when they saw the marquees.

Dad-of-one Paul, of Liverpool, is registered with the Security Industry Authority and has worked at music festivals across the UK.

He said his Commonwealth Games experience compared badly – even with the tough conditions experienced at festivals.

He said: “At festivals, at least you know what you are getting, but not here. We were told we’d be working 12-hour shifts but on some occasions we were working 15 hours with virtually no breaks.

“We were promised that all meals would be provided but the only food we got over the course of a whole shift was a packed lunch containing a bottle of water, packet of crisps, an apple and a sandwich.

“We ended up relying on the goodwill of other event staff for basics such as water and sunscreen.”

Paul stuck it out but says he was fired on Friday for “not following orders”.

He said he was hired by security sub-contractor X Force Protection, who provided workers for Manchester-based Controlled Event Solutions.

A Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman said they’d never heard of X Force.

Controlled Event Solutions declined to comment and referred us to Games’ organisers.

Paul said: “Guards are due to stay in the tents until Tuesday because of the way night shifts work. There is no need for these conditions. The marquee flooded on the first night when the canvas guttering began letting in water.

“The wooden floorboards quickly became sodden and seemed to be beginning to rot.

“There are eight tents, each with about 30 people in them, but there was just one shower block.

“The rugby club actually ended up helping us out, providing water and washing facilities.

“We were even told we were not supposed to eat our packed lunch in public as it was ‘unprofessional’ but the way we were treated was hardly professional.”

Another female security colleague, who did not wish to be named, said she was “disgusted” by the conditions.

She said: “If I’d known I’d have to live in a tent, I would never have taken the job.

“There was only one block of communal showers for a mixed group of 200 people. It was not good.”

Glasgow 2014 said X Force Protection were not one of their 17 framework suppliers for the provision of security and stewarding services.

They declined to say how much Controlled Event Solutions were paid to provide security, saying it was “confidential contract information”.

CES provided security at Tollcross pool and the SECC and also worked on temporary transport-related sites.

Games officials said checks were in place to ensure security companies treated staff fairly, including spot checks on water and sun cream provision.

A Games spokeswoman said: “Glasgow 2014 works with local authorities and other agencies to make sure the contract security workforce has a safe and healthy temporary living environment.

“It is the contractor’s responsibility to arrange accommodation and ensure the welfare and comfort of their staff.”

Glasgow 2014 are understood to have notified North Lanarkshire Council of problems at the rugby club site after concerns were raised.

Council officials made several visits to the site and a number of health and safety recommendations were made, including provision of wash basins and better toilet cleaning.

North Lanarkshire Council added: “We are continuing to carry out regular checks.”

No one from Cumbernauld Rugby Club was available for comment.

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1 Response to Glasgow 2014: How hundreds of Commonwealth Games security staff had to live in squalid conditions inside makeshift camps

  1. sdbast says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.


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