Tuesday 7 April 2020

UPDATED: Support Unite's call for PPE for bus drivers

I spoke to two bus drivers at the nearby terminus today to express sympathy for the death of their colleagues from Covid-19 - they too are front-line workers who get other front-line workers to work. I support the call for drivers to have personal protective equipment (PPE).

Commentating on the tragic news that five London bus workers have now died of the coronavirus.  Unite regional secretary, Peter Kavanagh said:

Each of these deaths is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of everyone at Unite goes to the families of the bus workers who have died of coronavirus.

Unite will assist the families of our members in every possible way during this terrible time.

Unite has been working continuously with Transport for London (TfL) and the operators to ensure the safety of drivers and others in the industry who are performing a heroic job in getting NHS and care workers to their places of work.

These measures include deep cleaning of buses, additional cleaning of touch points, the sealing of screens around the driver, the provision of hand sanitizer for all and placing the passenger seating closest to the driver out of bounds.

I have been in direct contact with the mayor of London who shares our view that bus drivers must be fully protected.

My officers are holding daily meetings with TfL, exploring further safety improvements and we are absolutely committed to doing everything in our power to make the driving of buses safe during this unprecedented crisis. 

We are also calling on the government to make provisions for transport workers in terms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 If any driver has safety concerns, then it is imperative that they inform their employer and Unite representative immediately. The union will immediately act on all such concerns.

TfL is piloting a new method of boarding buses to protect drivers. Passengers will board through the middle doors.  LINK

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