10 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
Union fury as London Underground bosses say BAME staff at no greater risk from Covid-19 at work, than if they stayed at home.
RMT has revealed that in a London Underground document entitled “Covid-19 Risk Assessment for BAME and clinically vulnerable employees Guidance for all line managers” dated 5th June tube bosses have said;
“You can reassure them that we have assessed the risks and put controls in place; and assure them that the risk is no greater at work than not being at work (unless they stay in their home and go nowhere). It’s important also to remind people that being at work is good for individuals and their health. There can be long term health implications for individuals who are not in work for prolonged periods.”
The union is also furious that senior London Underground management have not consulted with union health and safety reps prior to producing the document.
Last month RMT called on industry bosses and safety regulators in the transport sector to take steps to protect BAME workers. On 1 June 2020, the London Mayor made a statement to say that tube bosses should carry out a risk assessment which considers the physical and mental health needs of all vulnerable staff, including BAME, older and those with pre-existing conditions.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“It is simply beyond belief that after the Mayor’s announcement and all his campaigns to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on BAME people that his own managers can produce such an insensitive and patently inaccurate document.
“To say that BAME and vulnerable staff who may have to work in the confined and crowded spaces of London Underground are at no greater risk than if they stayed at home is dangerous garbage.
“I have no doubt that we are in this position because management ignored our offer to involve our experienced health and safety reps at an earlier stage and I am now calling on the Mayor to intervene to protect our members and properly involve the trade unions.”