11 May 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT on today’s Office of National Statistic figures revealing bus and taxi drivers have raised risk of COVID-19 death.
TRANSPORT UNION RMT is demanding that the Government take urgent action in the wake of figures published today by the ONS which show that male bus and taxi drivers were amongst the occupations with a raised rate of death involving COVID-19.
The union is calling for the protection of workers in these sectors, and for the convening of a National Coronavirus Safety Summit to agree a national plan to protect workers and passengers in the sector.
The ONS analysis found that:
“Among men, a number of other specific occupations were found to have raised rates of death involving COVID-19, including: taxi drivers and chauffeurs (36.4 deaths per 100,000); bus and coach drivers (26.4 deaths per 100,000).”
The Government has failed to convene a national Coronavirus safety forum with unions and employers to establish safe working practices, despite multiple requests for it to do so since the onset of COVID-19 – and today’s analysis shows the price for this failing.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“These figures are a sobering reminder that frontline bus and taxi workers across the country are being put at risk by the Government’s failure to ensure that workers in these sectors are adequately protected from COVID-19.
“For example, despite the high rate of deaths in the bus industry, the Government still has not convened a Coronavirus safety forum for this sector, months into lockdown. After the PM’s ambiguous statement last night, bus workers across the country will now be anxious that they will be put at risk by any increase in passenger numbers, before rigorous safety measures are implemented.
“RMT’s position on this is unequivocal – we will not allow our bus and taxi members to be put at risk and are calling on the government to take urgent action to protect these key workers."
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