Unite stages protest against ‘senseless attack on NI bus driver’

Unite the union has condemned the NI Protocol related attack on a Translink bus and one of its members in Newtownabbey this afternoon outside City Hall in Belfast.

By Gemma Murray
Monday, 8th November 2021, 1:37 pm

In a statement, Unite said the Translink workforce are left deeply angered at continuing attacks and feel that they are a political punchbag for issues above their head

Following discussions with management on measures to increase security and support for drivers, Unite the union condemned the attack on a Translink bus and driver last night in Newtownabbey.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed the solidarity of her union’s membership across Britain and Ireland for the Translink workforce who have suffered yet another attack as a result of rising community and political tensions over the NI Protocol.

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“Last night’s attack like the previous two bus burning events is an attack on workers everywhere. The only outcome of this senseless act is that another bus driver – another member of our union – has been left traumatised.

“Workers everywhere have the absolute right to go about their working day in peace and free from threat or intimidation.”

Since the attack, Unite has engaged its members on the ground and meet with Translink management to ensure the provision of all possible support to the drivers.

Chair of Unite Metro bus drivers’ branch, Michael Dornan, spoke on behalf of drivers.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th November 2021 Photo by Jonathan Porter // Press Eye A bus has been destroyed after it was hijacked and set on fire in Newtownabbey, County Antrim. It happened near Valley Leisure Centre on Church Road at 19:45 GMT on Sunday. Police said four men got on to the bus, ordered the passengers and the driver to get off and then set it alight. No-one was injured, police said. It is the second time in a week that a bus has been hijacked and burnt in Northern Ireland.

“I’ve spoken to the driver who was caught up in this incident. He is a Unite member that I know well. He has been left traumatised as a result of what he experienced last night and we are trying to provide him all the support possible.

“This attack must be condemned by all right thinking people. Translink drivers are deeply angered that we are always the political punchbag for issues we have no power over or hand in. All we do is provide a valuable public service for our communities but we are the ones who are on the front line. All politicians need to act and end these attacks on drivers.”

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