Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 14, April 18, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Workers' Forum

London's Fallen Bus Workers Honoured with
Minute's Silence and a Demand for More Protection

Bus and transport workers in London who have died after contracting coronavirus were honoured by a one minute silence at 11am on Friday, April 17.

There are more than 20,000 bus workers throughout the capital who are members of Unite the union. Twenty-one London transport workers, including 15 bus drivers, have died in the course of their work at a time when they have been demanding more protection. That Transport for London has begun to listen to the workers speaking out is no comfort to those who have lost their lives and their loved ones. The patience of the transport workers has been stretched very thin.

Unite regional secretary for London, Pete Kavanagh, said: "Unite pays tribute to those bus workers who have died during the coronavirus pandemic and our thoughts are with their loved ones at this incredibly painful time. Their heart-breaking sacrifice, at a time of critical need, will never be forgotten.

"Far too many bus workers have lost their lives during this crisis and our members are well aware that the danger has still has not passed. Unite has 20,000 bus worker members across the capital. It is quite clear to us that they are running out of patience with the operators and TfL, and we share their frustrations.

"These workers should feel that everything possible is being done to make them feel safe at work, but they don't. We call again upon TfL to close the front doors on all buses to ensure central boarding only by passengers.

"TfL, the employers, the mayor and the government all need to urgently address all issues."

In addition to central loading, Unite is demanding that TfL instigate a London-wide inspection regime for cleaning at all garages. Furthermore, the union is calling for the establishment of limits on the number of passengers that can board at any one time, as well as the requirement that passengers cover their faces while using public transport.


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