5 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT responds to Government and Rail Delivery Group on face masks this morning
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“There is a real danger that the Government and the Rail Delivery Group are sending out a signal that as long as you cover your face you are safe to head back onto the tubes and trains regardless of whether you are an essential worker making an essential journey. That risks a surge in passengers as we saw last weekend with the principles of social distancing blown apart with huge risks to staff and passengers alike.
“It's also clear that the Government and industry bosses are expecting our members to police this policy. That will put over-stretched rail workers right in the front line once again and will leave them at risk of being abused, assaulted and spat at by aggressive passengers refusing to comply. This policy must be properly risk assessed with staff fully protected.
“If this policy had been introduced sooner and the principle of covering your face established earlier some of these risks our members now face could have been avoided. The Government need to get a grip rather than winging it with these important policy announcements.”