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Extend compensation scheme to transport workers, TSSA asks PM

13 May 2020

Following the death of Belly Mujinga, transport union TSSA has today written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to extend the coronavirus compensation scheme to transport workers, including Belly's family.

Belly Mujinga was a ticket officer worker at London’s Victoria Station and was spat at while on duty by a member of the public claiming to have the virus. She died last month and leaves behind her husband and 11 year old daughter.

In April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock launched a compensation scheme for NHS and care workers who die of coronavirus, providing £60,000 to the family of those workers who die of the virus. TSSA is asking for that scheme to be extended to transport workers who die from coronavirus.


In the letter – which is copied in full below – TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Belly Mujinga was one of many transport workers bravely going to work to keep our country moving through the pandemic and ensuring that other key workers can get to their workplaces. She put herself on the frontline and she has died of the virus.

“We’re writing to ask you to extend the compensation scheme to Belly Mujinga’s family and to other transport workers who die from coronavirus.

“While we can’t change what happened to Belly, we can and should do everything in our power to prevent any more deaths from this horrific virus.”

 

The full text of the letter is available here:


Dear Prime Minister,

You will be aware of the sad story of railway worker Belly Mujinga who died of coronavirus last month. She was a ticket officer worker at London’s Victoria Station and was spat at while on duty by a member of the public claiming to have the virus. She leaves behind her husband and 11 year old daughter.

Your spokesperson commented yesterday, saying: “It is despicable for a key worker to be attacked in this way while serving the travelling public. Our thoughts are with Mrs Mujinga family’s at this terrible time."

This was a welcome comment, and we thank you for it.

You will also be aware that your Health Secretary launched a compensation scheme for NHS and care workers who die of coronavirus, providing £60,000 to the family of those workers who die of the virus.

Belly Mujinga was one of many transport workers bravely going to work to keep our country moving through the pandemic and ensuring that other key workers can get to their workplaces. She put herself on the frontline and she has died of the virus.

We’re writing to ask you to extend the compensation scheme to Belly Mujinga’s family and to other transport workers who die from coronavirus. As your spokesperson rightly said, Belly and other transport staff are key workers and have served the public throughout the pandemic, and indeed continue to do so.

Belly was a member of our TSSA union and her loss is keenly felt by her colleagues, family and friends. As her union, we are supporting her colleagues and family through this difficult time. No amount of money can replace a life, but compensation will ease the suffering of the family.

While we can’t change what happened to Belly, we can and should do everything in our power to prevent any more deaths from this horrific virus. With industry and government support, we want public transport and all workplaces to be safe for both staff and passengers. We want to beat this virus and get back to work. But we can only do this if safety is the top priority.

Yours sincerely,

Manuel Cortes

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