Buses were empty around Belfast City Hall this morning as colleagues protested over last night’s “terrifying” attack

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Buses sat empty around Belfast Town Hall this morning as drivers protested an “unprovoked attack” which forced their colleague to “get back in order”

A subway bus was hijacked and burned after being bombarded with gasoline at the intersection of Lanark Way and Shankill Road on another night of loyalist violence on Wednesday

Bus drivers now warn that they will not work in areas where riots take place at night

Unite rep Michael Dornan said: “I spoke with Colin earlier He’s very shaken up and it’s going to take a while for him to sit up and come back

“But I know the company and I know his union will give him all the help and support he needs”

A driver told Belfast Live: ‘He must have been absolutely terrified, I know I would have been It’s terrible and it wasn’t like a lot of what happened last night, how to say, was a surprise

“Everyone knew it was happening night after night and he got sent up there anyway – and he shouldn’t have been”

Another said: “We learned more on social media last night than what we learned from our own bosses – it’s the truth, and I was there all night”

Following what happened, the driver unions called a meeting with Translink at 11.30 a.m. on Thursday, which is understood is underway

M Dornan told Belfast Live at Town Hall that “employees are furious at the reckless and unprovoked attack on their colleague last night”

“As bus drivers we are here to serve the public, our goal is the safety and well-being of passengers We are not politicians, we are not a political voice for any community and we are not certainly not represent those who have the influence to stop or trigger these rioting behaviors

“What we can do is we are not going to throw a reckless death glove to haul a bus from A to B and risk the lives of our drivers This is the message we are delivering here today “

“This is a protest by the minute, but in all areas where there is rioting behavior there will be a curfew from early evening until the next morning”

He said “it’s up to politicians and those with influence” to do something to make bus drivers feel safe

“We cannot stop it, the PSNI can monitor [and] pursue and control it, but it cannot stop it

“Translink can’t stop it The only people who can stop it are those who have this influence. We beg them to allow us to serve the public, their audience, because we come from their community”

To the prime minister and deputy prime ministers he said, “My message to them is to sort it out Please sit down and find common ground that people will not be attacked for doing their job. work “

“I am researching this until community representatives give us assurances that it is safe to travel there, otherwise we will not travel there after 6 p.m.”

Patrick Mullholland, Deputy Secretary General of NIPSA, also spoke out in solidarity with the drivers as they sought assurances on their safety

“No worker should be attacked for doing their job,” he told dozens of bus drivers gathered in front of the town hall

“We have a message for politicians – enough is enough – we are not going back to the dark days Workers will stand up, workers will resist and workers will be united

“We will not see communities torn apart. The trade union movement will not support it and we will resist until the forces of reaction are withdrawn”

GMB’s Eamon McCullough told us: “The two unions are meeting today with senior management to see a plan of action – which we will do later

“But the drivers just need to be assured that nothing will happen for their well-being, because last night could have been avoided as there are crowds lying around

“There must be some sort of plan and if we see crowds we don’t go in

“It was very lucky last night because the person who threw the gasoline bomb didn’t know if the driver was on it or not and he could have been on it

“It’s all about solidarity today and the pilots are all united – it’s good to see NIPSA here too”

NIPSA’s Carmel Gates said it was “important to show our support” because other unions supported their members when threatened by paramilitaries in the past

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Belfast Live

World News – GB – Bus driver caught in riots in Belfast needs ‘tidy up’

Source: https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/belfast-bus-driver-needs-to-20343276