11 January 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands urgent action to protect TfL workers as new Covid variant runs rampant.
TRANSPORT UNION RMT is demanding immediate action by Transport for London amid the surge in London’s cases of Covid infection and the rise of new variant Covid and the deaths of at least three TfL workers in recent days.
The union has written to both the Mayor of London and London Underground calling for an urgent upscaling of safety measures to protect staff. In the letter the union demands:
“1. Our representatives are given sight of any data or reports addressing the risk of airborne transmission of Covid 19 in TfL workplaces and especially in sub-surface stations and on-board trains.
2. We require an assurance that no member of staff who is Clinically Vulnerable or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable will be required to attend the workplace if that member of staff feels it is unsafe for them to do so.
3. We require an assurance that no member of staff will be required to use TfL, or other public transport services, to travel to or from work where 2m social distancing cannot be maintained. Key workers should be exempted from the Congestion and ULEZ charges.
4. We demand the provision of an FFP2/N95 type mask for any member of staff who wishes to have one when working in public areas.
5. We demand that only essential work is carried out at this time. Non-essential engineering and upgrade work should be suspended. Only staff needed to run an essential service should be required to travel to and from work and attend the workplace.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“RMT is demanding urgent action to protect essential transport workers who have been keeping London moving since the Covid pandemic began some nine months ago. With three deaths in recent days of TfL workers amidst the rise of the new Covid variant immediate steps need to be taken now.
“The union will be backing staff who are vulnerable and if they need to withdraw to the safety of their home then we will support them. The only way we can get through the pandemic to the other side of a vaccinated and safe London is if transport staff are adequately protected.
“While we do not wish to enter into a dispute situation in this matter, we rule nothing out if our demands are not met, as we believe the employer and those responsible for TfL should take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of its workers and the wider community.”