The World Socialist Web Site has received the following statement from the Berlin Transport Workers' Action Committee for Safe Workplaces in Germany in support of David O’Sullivan’s reinstatement at Cricklewood bus garage in London.
We, the bus drivers of the Berlin Transport Workers' Action Committee for Safe Workplaces, strongly condemn the sacking of our London colleague David O'Sullivan by Metroline Transport with the assistance of the Unite union.
We call on the management of Metroline—working on behalf of Transport for London (TFL)—to reinstate bus driver David O' Sullivan immediately. He must be compensated for all the costs of previous losses and be restored all his legal rights without further sanctions.
The "offence" David O'Sullivan is accused of by management and the Unite union is his courageous fight to mobilise his colleagues against the risk of infection on the buses. He acted in an exemplary manner and inspired many bus drivers and their families to take the fight for their health into their own hands. By the time he and the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee at Cricklewood called for a walkout in January, London's 26,000 drivers had already suffered 45 deaths and hundreds of infected Transport for London workers.
While O'Sullivan is being persecuted, the culprits for the untold suffering of many workers sit comfortably on the government benches in London and in the offices of the shareholder bosses and offices of the trade union bigwigs.
Your struggle is our struggle!
Here in Berlin, almost 500 transport workers have been infected with COVID-19 at public transit company BVG since the outbreak of the pandemic. At least two of our colleagues have died. Most of our infected colleagues contracted the coronavirus this year. In our country, too, the trade unions stand on the other side. Like the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) has not organised any industrial action on safety during the pandemic. Currently, the public service union Verdi is collaborating with BVG management and the Berlin state government to restore unsafe front boarding against our opposition.
We will not allow this to happen, any more than we will allow the persecution of our London colleague David O'Sullivan. His defence is part of the struggle for safe workplaces and workers' rights worldwide. We will do everything in our power to publicise the case and mobilise support among bus drivers and other sections of workers in Berlin, across Europe and worldwide.