Translink management must adopt a no tolerance approach to better support staff attacked in the workplace
Figures confirm Translink employees continue to be on the receiving end of verbal and physical assaults
November 12th: Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer responded to revelations that confirmed the high incidence of verbal, physical and sexual assaults on public transport are not abating.
“Today’s figures revealed by the BBC confirm that there continues to be a high number of verbal and physical assaults, including sexual, on public transport staff. Bus and rail drivers, inspectors and other public transport workers are entitled to go about their day’s work in peace and to be shown basic respect. There should be no tolerance for such anti-social behaviour towards workers.
“Translink management must ensure the safety of their staff and whilst we acknowledge that the company has improved the level of support offered to affected workers; unfortunately in way too many cases staff end up out of pocket due to the long-term impact of such assaults on their health. Unite continues to work with management to bring forward policies to help our members affected by these incidents.
“All too often the travelling public end up paying the price for these assaults, in recent months a number of public transport services have had to be withdrawn after repeated attacks on drivers. These attacks can be quite serious and threaten lives.
“Given we are entering the festive season, we ask the wider travelling public to consider the workers who provide public transport throughout the holiday period”, Mr Thompson.
Taryn Trainor, Unite Regional Women’s & Equalities Officer spoke on the need for a more robust approach to this specific threat to female workers by management.
“It is imperative that women be provided with a safe and protective working environment. They shouldn’t have to go into work worrying about their personal safety. Translink management needs to take a zero tolerance approach to this issue similar to that taken in A&E and other emergency services so as to protect their employees. Body cameras and alarms are of little use to prevent an attacker intent on assault.
“It has long been true that women are much safer travelling on public transport than other modes, management must now work collectively with the unions to ensure the same is true for their staff”, Ms Trainor said.