SIPTU and the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) have voiced serious concerns for their members health and safety with the return to 100% passenger capacity on public transport which was implemented today (Wednesday, 1st September). NBRU General Secretary, Dermot O’Leary, said: “The announcement by the Government that public transport has returned to 100% passenger capacity has generated real concern amongst our members on the frontline.  “The complete lack of consultation with the representatives of transport workers regarding this decision is in stark contrast to the engagement by the Government with many other sectors concerning the reopening of society from the Covid-19 restrictions.” He added: “The NBRU and SIPTU have written to the National Transport Authority requesting its immediate engagement with union representatives so the impact of an increase in capacity on our members’ health and safety can be fully explored.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy, said: “In order to protect their health and safety and that of the wider public our unions have advised our frontline members that a 75% passenger capacity maximum should remain in place until further notice.  “Under no circumstances will our members facilitate a return to the sardine like crush of passengers on to public transport, as was common place prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Both unions will fully support frontline bus, rail and tram workers, inclusive of train host, revenue protection, security and customer service staff, who choose, for their own safety, not to operate in crowded areas throughout the network. Such an environment could, in our view, lead to serious outbreaks of Covid-19.” He added: “The statement by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, that Covid-19 restrictions would be ‘gradually and carefully eased during September, before a significant change of approach in October’ has also led to concerns that public transport workers are being treated as guinea pigs by the Government. We are simply not prepared to facilitate such a scenario.”