London bus workers die with coronavirus

Five London bus workers infected with the coronavirus have died.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Tweeted: “I’m absolutely devastated to hear that five London bus workers have tragically lost their lives after testing positive for coronavirus. My thoughts arewith their friends and families at this awful time.

I have been clear that our incredible public transport staff – on the buses, tubes, trams and trains – are critical workers, making a heroic effort to allow our NHS staff to save more lives.

All drivers on London buses are shielded by a Perspex screen and TfL has ensured measures have been taken to keep staff as safe as possible – with enhanced cleaning, stopping passengers from riding near drivers and boosting social distancing at stations and stops. TfL will continue to make enhancements across public transport across London to ensure there are even higher levels of protection.”

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.” 


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