False story about Metro drivers refusing youth for wearing football t-shirt has left workers facing online threats and abuse

Unite welcomes Translink management support for drivers following review of CCTV evidence

November 1st: Metro Driver representative for Unite, Michael Dornan, has expressed his union’s dismay at the media allegations that a driver refused a passenger who was wearing a football shirt.

“Bus drivers employed by Metro come from all parts of the community. On a daily basis, we look after the safety and welfare of all those using public transport and we do that without prejudice.

“Over the course of the last decades, drivers have shown extreme dedication in serving the local community under very difficult circumstances. At times drivers have put their lives ‘on the line’. There is a strong culture in the workforce of treating passengers the same regardless of their religious and cultural beliefs and irrespective of our own.

“Drivers are deeply upset by the irresponsible nature of the media coverage of this incident, which has resulted some workers being the target of abuse and threats on social media and led to service disruption. What’s worse is that the CCTV evidence of the event is clear and shows that there is no substance whatsoever to the allegation made.

“We welcome the fact that Translink management has come out in support of us and we hope that those that have repeated the allegations on various websites will now realise that it was not a true version of what happened”, Mr Dornan concluded.

Davy McMurray, Unite Regional Officer, focussed his comments on the social media abuse that had been generated:

“The media coverage of this event has led to a situation where our members, innocent of the allegation, have been at the receiving end of abuse and threats on social media.

“Sometimes people make comments on social media without the facts and as a consequence, wrongly hurt and offend individuals, I’m hoping this is the case and people can retract the abusive comments made.

“Bus drivers play a very important role in our society. They are responsible for the safety and welfare of everyone on board, especially school children and the most vulnerable, who depend on public transport to give them a bit of independence and quality of life. They don’t deserve this slur on their character and hope those responsible for spreading this inaccurate story will rectify the situation”, Mr McMurray concluded.

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