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Bus drivers commemorate colleagues deaths with minute's silence

LONDON bus workers stopped work to stage a minute’s silence at 11am today, in memory of colleagues who have died from Covid-19.

The commemoration was organised by their union Unite, which said it was “running out of patience” with the failure of operators and Transport for London (TfL) to protect employees from infection.

The virus has killed 20 bus drivers in the capital.

Unite London regional secretary Pete Kavanagh said: “These workers should feel that everything possible is being done to make them feel safe at work, but they don’t.”

The union wants limits on the number of passengers boarding buses at any one time and for passengers to cover their faces on public transport.

TfL has responded to union pressure for greater protection for staff by allowing passengers to temporarily travel free on London buses from Monday to avoid contact with drivers.

It is also complying with Unite’s call for passengers to use only the middle doors of buses after a trial on nine routes. The policy is now being extended to all buses in the capital.

A south London bus driver identified only as Lorraine, 62, said last week in an online video that she was “proud to do her job” but “frightened to die” as she begged the government to do more to help protect transport staff.

The Public and Commercial Services union, representing civil servants, urged its members in the capital to take part in yesterday’s minute’s silence in support of the bus workers.

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