TSSA welcomes Covid transport workers memorial plan

Belly Mujinga smiling with her husband Lusamba

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has welcomed the proposal from Government of a permanent memorial to transport workers who have died from Covid-19. 

The suggestion was made by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, appearing before the Transport Committee. Shapps paid tribute to "the 54 transport workers who've died with Covid" and suggested it would be "appropriate" to have a memorial sited at Victoria Station, where TSSA member Belly Mujinga worked. 

Belly was a Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) ticket office clerk and a TSSA member. She had an existing respiratory condition which meant her employer should have kept her out of harm’s way. Tragically she was redeployed to the concourse rather than being sent home, where she could be shielded from the virus. 

A 'Justice for Belly Mujinga' petition has now reached close to two million signatures

Manuel Cortes said: 

"Our union fully welcomes this proposal from Grant Shapps and is willing to work with him to make sure it happens. It is a tragedy that we have lost transport workers during this health emergency. 

"As Shapps himself has said, these are the people who have put themselves on the frontline so our NHS workers can get to their jobs, and the wider population has food and essential supplies. They are true heroes and I have no doubt the country will wish to properly remember those we have lost fighting this terrible virus. 

"In the meantime, we must continue to make sure every single transport worker has the proper protective equipment needed to go about their vital work. Government must also be clear the only safe way to operate public transport at the present time is by maintaining the two metre social distancing rule. 

"Let us protect the living while we do the right thing in remembering the dead."

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