LETTER: Strike highlights bus safety threat

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The Independent Online
From Mr Bill Morris Sir: The managing director of the Eastern National Bus Company (Letters, 10 January) ignores the real issue at stake in his dispute with the Chelmsford bus drivers. Our members were sacked by Robin Orbell because they took action to highlight their concern over the longer shifts they were being forced to work. This question is causing increasing alarm, not just throughout the industry, but also among the travelling public. It was highlighted by the accident in Whitehall over Christmas, which

one of the drivers involved attributed to fatigue cause by overwork.

It is concern for safety, as much as the free bus service, which the Transport and General Workers Union is running in Chelmsford, that has led to our members receiving such strong support from the public. The question for Mr Orbell is whether he is prepared to put passenger safety (which means not forcing tired drivers on to the roads) above profit.

With regard to the letter from Angie Chapman (10 January), my conversation with her was in fact about a complaint that I had not responded to a letter she had written about the dispute. I explained to her that the letter would have been received just before the Christmas break, over which the T&G had moved its offices, and that she would receive a reply very shortly.

Yours sincerely, BILL MORRIS General Secretary Transport and General Workers Union London, SW1

11 January