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Transport union slams PM’s ‘negligent handling’ of pandemic

TRANSPORT union TSSA condemned Boris Johnson’s negligent handling of the Covid-19 pandemic today, with services crippled by thousands of workers having to self-isolate. 

Reduced timetables are in operation across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a spate of last-minute cancellations due to the “pingdemic.”

Vast numbers of workers are being advised by the NHS Covid-19 app to stay at home after coming into contact with an infected person as the virus sweeps through the population again. 

Thameslink and Southern have cut trains on five routes until further notice, while Avanti West Coast reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and north Wales.

Arriva and First Bus confirmed staffing levels are tight, but bosses said they are working hard to minimise disruption. 

Senior Tory ministers met today to discuss an extension to the workplace self-isolation scheme as they come under pressure to replace quarantine with daily testing. 

The Covid operations sub-committee of Cabinet was expected to add police, fire services and refuse collectors to the scheme after it opened for 10,000 food-chain workers late last week. A decision had not been announced as the Morning Star went to press.  

Unions have blasted the confusion surrounding the plans, which they say risks exposing key workers to the deadly virus. 

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes warned the government has “not thought for a moment” about the safety of key workers. 

“Boris Johnson last week suggested transport may be an industry exempt from isolation but, despite being asked several times, gave no details, causing much confusion,” he said. 

“Our brave transport workers, who have been on the front line throughout this pandemic, deserve so much better.” 

Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt

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