Unite calls on public to come forward to help identify those involved in attack on Glider workers
Attack latest example of Translink employees being on the receiving end of verbal and physical assaults
December 28th: Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer for Translink workers on bus and rail services across Northern Ireland condemned the violent assault and called on anyone knowing anything about the identity of the attackers to step forward to ensure that those responsible faced the courts.
“Yesterday evening a Customer Revenue Protection Officer who challenged rowdy behaviour by a group of approximately six youths was attacked and dragged out of the bus and beaten while the driver, who attempted to help, was struck with a brick and the pair were then assaulted by a bigger crowd of up to twenty before the arrival of Translink support and the police. The incident occurred on a Glider service heading into Belfast city centre, close to the Twin Spires after the Falls Road.
“The thoughts of everyone in Unite are with those workers who were hospitalised in this assault. We hope that they make a swift and full recovery.
“This attack exemplifies the way in which public transport workers and others involved in providing vital services face an increased threat at their place of work. Workers have the right to go about their day’s work entirely free from the threat of assault – the right to leave their homes in the expectation that they will be to be safe.
“This assault on these workers is an attack on every worker in Northern Ireland. Our union stands in close solidarity with those attacked.
“Only last month, Unite highlighted the upsurge in assaults on bus and rail drivers and inspectors across Translink services and called on management to provide greater protections at work. While body-cameras help secure convictions they do not stop those determined to attack workers. Those responsible must face the full weight of the law.
“The Glider service has proven to be a huge success since it was launched three months ago – it has transformed the public transport infrastructure of Belfast. Those who provide that service need to feel safe in their place of work. We have to ask ourselves – is this the type of society we want to live in where elderly people, young couples with young children are scared to get on a bus? Anyone in the local community who has knowledge of those responsible to come forward and help Translink and the police in their investigations”, Mr Thompson said.