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Vaccinate essential transport staff as next priority, says TSSA

11 January 2021

Transport and travel union TSSA has today written to British transport ministers calling on them to ensure that essential transport workers are next in line for vaccination against coronavirus.

In the letters - sent to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Scotland's Transport Minister Michael Matheson, and Wales Transport Minister Ken Skates - TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes says that frontline transport workers have “put their lives on the line” during the pandemic. He requests that all essential transport workers are next in line for vaccination after vulnerable groups and healthcare and care workers.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: “With covid case numbers rising sharply there is a race to get people vaccinated. It is absolutely right that vulnerable groups and healthcare and care workers are first in line for vaccination. After that, we want to see essential transport staff getting the lifesaving vaccinations.

“From getting key workers to hospitals and moving vital supplies around the country, our transport key workers have kept the country moving through the pandemic. Many have lost their lives to the virus, but they bravely continue to serve during this time of crisis.

“We must vaccinate transport workers as the next priority and I’m calling on transport ministers in England, Scotland and Wales to back this important step to protect our transport networks.”


On 11 January Transport for London revealed that 57 of its staff have died from coronavirus. At least 13 rail workers have also died from the virus.

 

Copies of the letters are provided below:


England:

Dear Grant Shapps,

I’m writing to you on behalf of transport workers across England to ask that all essential transport workers are next in line for vaccination after vulnerable groups and healthcare and care workers.

Transport workers have worked right through the coronavirus pandemic, often on the front line ensuring that vital healthcare and care workers, other key workers and supplies get to their destinations. They have put their lives on the line, and many have sadly died from the virus. Latest figures show that at least 57 staff at Transport for London have died from coronavirus, to give one sad example.

As a trade union representing transport workers across rail, buses, ferries, tube, trams and in engineering and support roles, we request that essential transport workers are included in the next priority order for vaccination against this deadly virus. All of these modes of transport are strategically essential to our country being able to function and it can only be safely delivered with healthy staff.

Please protect our transport networks by vaccinating essential transport staff as a priority following vulnerable people and healthcare and care staff.

Yours sincerely,

Manuel Cortes

 

Wales:

Dear Ken Skates,

I’m writing to you on behalf of transport workers across Wales to ask that all essential transport workers are next in line for vaccination after vulnerable groups and healthcare and care workers.

Transport workers have worked right through the coronavirus pandemic, often on the front line ensuring that vital healthcare and care workers, other key workers and supplies get to their destinations. They have put their lives on the line, and many have sadly died from the virus.

As a trade union representing transport workers across rail, buses, ferries, trams and in engineering and support roles, we request that essential transport workers are included in the next priority order for vaccination against this deadly virus. All of these modes of transport are strategically essential to our country being able to function and it can only be safely delivered with healthy staff.

Please protect our transport networks by vaccinating essential transport staff as a priority following vulnerable people and healthcare and care staff.

Yours sincerely,

Manuel Cortes

 

Scotland:

Dear Michael Matheson,

I’m writing to you on behalf of transport workers across Scotland to ask that all essential transport workers are next in line for vaccination after vulnerable groups and healthcare and care workers.

 Transport workers have worked right through the coronavirus pandemic, often on the front line ensuring that vital healthcare and care workers, other key workers and supplies get to their destinations. They have put their lives on the line, and many have sadly died from the virus.

As a trade union representing transport workers across rail, buses, ferries, trams and in engineering and support roles, we request that essential transport workers are included in the next priority order for vaccination against this deadly virus. All of these modes of transport are strategically essential to our country being able to function and it can only be safely delivered with healthy staff.

Please protect our transport networks by vaccinating essential transport staff as a priority following vulnerable people and healthcare and care staff.

Yours sincerely,

Manuel Cortes

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