Bus and rail workers "concerned" for their health as public transport returns to 100% capacity 2 months ago

Bus and rail workers "concerned" for their health as public transport returns to 100% capacity

“Under no circumstances will our members facilitate a return to the sardine-like crush of passengers."

SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have said that they have "serious concerns" for their member's health and safety as public transport returned to 100% capacity on Wednesday.

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They added that they would like to see capacity capped at 75% "until further notice", criticising the Government's "complete lack" of engagement with the industry compared to other sectors.

“The announcement by the Government that public transport has returned to 100% passenger capacity has generated real concern amongst our members on the frontline," NBRU General Secretary, Dermot O’Leary said on Wednesday.

“The complete lack of consultation with the representatives of transport workers regarding this decision is in stark contrast to the engagement by the Government with many other sectors concerning the reopening of society from the Covid-19 restrictions.”

The two groups have written to the National Transport Authority requesting "immediate engagement" with union representatives to "fully explore" the impact of an increase in capacity on members’ health and safety.

SIPTU Sector Organiser John Murphy added: “In order to protect their health and safety and that of the wider public our unions have advised our frontline members that a 75% passenger capacity maximum should remain in place until further notice.

“Under no circumstances will our members facilitate a return to the sardine-like crush of passengers on to public transport, as was commonplace prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Both unions will fully support frontline bus, rail and tram workers, inclusive of train host, revenue protection, security and customer service staff, who choose, for their own safety, not to operate in crowded areas throughout the network. Such an environment could, in our view, lead to serious outbreaks of Covid-19.”

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