Is there such a thing as ‘elevator discrimination’?

May 11, 2018 - 3:17 PM
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A view of the elevators in The Address at Wack Wack Condominium, one of the upscale residential buildings in Mandaluyong City. (The Address at Wack Wack/Released)

The elevator policy of a residential condominium in Mandaluyong City caused a stir on social media for its perceived “discrimination” against “drivers, household helpers, nannies and delivery personnel.”

“House Rule 11.6” posted inside an elevator of 8 Wack Wack Road Condominium, a “Class A” type of residential building in Mandaluyong City, imposes a fine against violators who ride the passenger instead of the service elevator.

People were appalled saying that the policy is “discriminatory.” There are others, however, who say that there might be reasons for such a policy.

Ups and downs of the elevator policy

In 2014, The Icon Residences at Bonifacio Global City banned “drivers, housemaids” and “outside contractors” from using their passenger elevators.

A picture of their policy was uploaded on social media but, unlike 8 Wack Wack Condominium, their management did not impose any sanctions or penalties.

When the controversy of The Icon Residences was reported, Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino aired their concerns on “Aquino and Abunda Tonight.”

The condominium’s property manager did not speak up but her sister responded by posting an explanation on Facebook.

According to Annette Aguado, “A service elevator is no different from a guest or passenger elevator. It’s there so that traffic and security are better managed. In fact, in hotels, the cleaners to GM himself use the service elevator.”

She pointed out that she does not see “construction workers” using passenger elevators of One Roxas and Essensa, other condominium properties.

Aguado added, “A well-dressed couple in Americana and evening clothes will be annoyed if a construction worker hauls his paints and brushes with matching ladder into the elevator with them, right? And how would you feel if you rode a hospital elevator and they wheel a corpse in?”

She also noted that it was a decision made by the board, not just the property manager.

Meanwhile, there are others who commented that 8 Wack Wack Condominium might have their own reasons for the policy.

Apart from the “discriminatory” comments from the general public, there were those others who expressed dissenting opinions.

8 Wack Wack Condominium has not yet issued a statement or an explanation for their policy.

What are service elevators for? 

Service elevators are typically used to carry goods, pieces of baggage, laundries, deliveries, among others. They are used by the building’s maintenance and housekeeping personnel, as well as the delivery staff.

It is bigger than a passenger elevator since it carries carts, cleaning equipment, wheeled garbage containers, etc.

A passenger elevator, on the other hand, is smaller and designed for people.

Other instances of elevator ‘discrimination’

8 Wack Wack Condominium is not the first residential building to have imposed such a policy in their elevators.

In India, a condominium called Marathon NextGen Era was also accused of “discriminating” against maids, drivers, cooks, courier and delivery personnel when they ordered that the mentioned people use the service elevator instead.

In the United States on 1903, African-Americans in Atlanta, Georgia were ordered to alight freight elevators “as if they were cargo,” a report noted. It was a time when discrimination against African-Americans was high in the USA.