Yesterday Grant Shapps announced that from 15th June anyone using public transport must wear a face mask. This was not the case when rail-worker Belly Mujunga was denied PPE from Southern Rail because of Government advice.
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Over half a million people are calling for justice for rail worker Belly Mujinga who died after being spat at by a man claiming to have Covid-19. Belly and a colleague fell ill with the virus within days of the incident at London’s Victoria Station on March 22.
As a vulnerable ‘at risk’ worker, Belly asked not to work directly with customers due to concerns over the virus, but was told that she needed too – and she was not issued with any PPE. This is because Southern Rail said it followed all of the latest Government health advice, which it said has not advised that railway workers need to wear personal protective equipment.
Belly later died in hospital in Barnet on April 5.
Her family is now campaigning to secure protection for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) workers, with half a million people signing their petition on Change.org. British Transport Police launched an investigation into her death but announced on Friday that they were – shamefully – not taking any further action.
It’s clear there are questions that Grant Shapps and the Government must answer.
If you think so too, we’re asking that you write to Grant Shapps as Secretary of State for Transport to express your anger and concern at the handling of this case – and the danger that his decisions have put not just Belly in, but thousands of rail-workers in. Here are the main questions as we see them:
- Why were rail workers not included in Government advice for those needing PPE, when from 15 June all travellers must wear face coverings?
- Did the national shortfall in PPE numbers play a part in not issuing certain key-workers (like rail-workers) with PPE?
- Why were Belly’s requests to work away from crowds during the pandemic ignored? It was known she was a vulnerable person in the ‘at risk’ category, so why was she placed on the front line on the concourse of Victoria Station, the second busiest railway station in London.
- Will Grant join the calls to reopen the case into what happened to Belly Mujinga?
If you wanted to use it, here’s a letter template – however you should always try to include personal thoughts on what this means to you and what action you would like to see. Grant Shapps is Secretary of State for Transport, he is responsible for this area and we cannot let him off the hook.
You can also sign the Justice for Belly petition here