TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has said his entire union will be thinking of Belly Mujinga today exactly one year since the transport worker died as a result of Covid-19. The union is calling for people to take a minute to think of Belly and other front-line workers who have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
TSSA has strongly backed calls for a coroner’s inquest into Belly’s death, with Cortes saying that there “must be justice for Belly” – for the sake of her family and all transport workers.
North London Coroner – Andrew Walker – is currently deciding whether to hold an inquest into the death of the 47-year-old TSSA member.
Belly died on 5 April 2020 just two weeks after it was reported she was coughed on by a customer at London's Victoria station (21 March). A BBC Panorama investigation subsequently raised serious questions about the inquiries into her death carried out by her employer, GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and the police.
Manuel Cortes said:
"Today marks a year since we lost Belly and our whole TSSA Family will be thinking of her and her own family today. We are asking people to take a minute out of their day to remember Belly Mujinga and to think of all the front-line workers who have died from Coronavirus during the pandemic.
"There must be justice for Belly and our union will go on demanding that. This is vitally important, not just for Belly’s family but for all transport workers who have done so much to keep our country moving during this deadly pandemic.
"There really must be a coroner's inquest into her death so that all the outstanding questions about this case can be answered. Doing so will help bring peace to Belly’s family as well as providing lessons about how we can avoid this kind of thing happening in future.
"Belly’s death touched our entire union and far beyond. Public scrutiny is now needed to fully illuminate this tragic case. As things stand too many gaps and glaring omissions remain – as highlighted by a number of experts in the Panorama documentary.
"These questions are as pressing today as they were a year ago. One thing is for sure - Belly will not be forgotten and our union will never give up the fight on her behalf."