From today - Wednesday 6 January - there is a national lockdown. It follows very similar approaches to the March lockdown. Where it is possible to work from home, all workers should do so and not travel into workplaces unless you "cannot reasonably [work] from home".
TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, says to members: “Our union is here for you at this time of great concern. I know it is a very worrying time for transport and travel workers, especially those on the front line. We have learnt in the worst possible way how vulnerable people are to this terrible virus.”
TSSA is representing rail workers through the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF) and is in direct contact with other transport operators, employers and national governments where our members work.
"I will be attending a RICF meeting tomorrow after which we will be looking to reissue our essential union advice and guidance - updated if required - on your rights at work during the pandemic and redoubling our efforts for all workplaces to continue to be rigorously risk assessed” says Manuel. “As always, our members’ health and safety is our top priority and that must be at the forefront of employers’ and government minds also. Lives must always come before profits.”
We strongly urge all our members to contact their rep if they have any concerns about the safety of their workplace or the duties they are being asked to undertake. Employers are required to carry out and act on risk assessments to ensure working environments are safe for staff, and of course passengers. Risk reduction should follow a hierarchy of controls model. Begin by eliminating the possibility of transmission, and if this cannot be done, substitute the activity, and so on. Personal Protective Equipment should be considered as a last resort control measure, as it is the least effective. There is more information and advice available from The Trade Unions' Congress here.
If you believe your workplace is unsafe please urgently contact our Helpdesk for advice as you are legally entitled to refuse to carry out your work if it's unsafe to do so.
Our Helpdesk is open and members can call it on 0800 328 2673 (UK) and 1800 805272 (Republic of Ireland) 9am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-4pm Fridays. Please also ensure we have the right contact details for you by updating them at TSSA - MyTSSA or contacting our Membership Department on 0207 387 2101 or by email on: email@example.com so that the union can keep in contact with you.
Updated information is posted to our Coronavirus page.