London bus workers and coronavirus – an update

Unite lead officer for buses in London John Murphy said: “Since the start of this outbreak Unite has strongly raised the concerns of our members on London buses with bus operators, TfL and the Mayor. We are also applying pressure at the highest levels of government.

“The deaths of those members of the London bus ‘family’, to whom we pay heartfelt tribute, makes the need for continuing safeguarding a paramount concern. Their deaths can’t be in vain.

“So far, we have secured the introduction of steps such as sick pay from day one, to make sure ill people weren’t starved into going to work. We have ensured operators adopted enhanced cleaning regimes, sealed assault screens and provided hand sanitisers for every driver.

“We have recently secured rear door boarding and every garage has a Unite safety officer monitoring all of these things and addressing issues as they arise.

“There is more to be done  – personal protective equipment like sanitising wipes, masks and gloves must be available to drivers if they want it – and not all do – and face coverings should be compulsory for people using public transport. Testing in even the simplest form must be carried out urgently.

“Unite is demanding consistently high and uniform standards across all London’s bus operators and we will continue to work tirelessly to make sure our members are treated with the respect they have more than earned, keeping the capital’s transport moving for key workers at this time of national emergency.

“It is time for those responsible for London’s bus network to step up further, and provide the proper and sufficient amounts of PPE our members need so badly.”

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