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First South West accused of buying cheap shower screens to protect bus drivers

A PROFITEERING bus company was accused today of buying cheap shower screens to protect drivers at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The money-saving move by First South West is just one example of privatised bus companies putting profits before the health and safety of their workers and passengers, the RMT conference in Leeds was told.

Delegate Mark Thomas, a south-west region bus driver, called on the union to encourage privateer companies to install safe and effective cab screens to protect drivers.

“Not only is the screen for protection from contamination but from ever-increasing violence against drivers,” he said. “Passengers can throw punches at you, and liquids.

“But operators are only interested in money.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said firms had resisted installation of protective screens even during the Covid-19 crisis. “It must be because they cost money,” he said. “We wrote to bus companies asking for adequate screens. 

"South West were fitting curtain shower screens around the drivers. That was the response to the Covid-19 crisis: putting up cheap shower screens from Wilkos. That is what was happening.”

First South West has been approached for comment.

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