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Tragic incident prompts National Day of Respect for Public Transport Workers

Nov 4, 2016RTBU News

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The tragic death of Brisbane bus driver Manmeet Sharma will be marked by a National Day of Respect for Public Transport Workers, to be held next Wednesday 9 November 2016.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) today asked commuters to honour the Day of Respect through the simple act of saying “thank you” to bus drivers, tram drivers, train drivers, taxi drivers and other public transport workers.

RTBU National President Phil Altieri said public transport workers across the country had been left reeling by the horrific circumstances of Mr Sharma’s death.

“Manmeet Sharma was a popular and widely respected young man in the Queensland transport industry, who had worked as a bus driver and a taxi driver.

“He was also a much-loved member of his local community.

“Next Wednesday will be a day for all Australians to reflect on Manmeet’s short but beautiful life, and also to reflect on the role all transport workers play in moving people around our cities and towns.”

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said Mr Sharma’s death exposed a broader social problem around violence and anti-social behaviour on pubic transport.

“All public transport workers across the country have been affected by this tragic event, and have thought ‘that could happen to me’.

“No-one should go to work, or catch public transport, worried that they could be abused, spat on, or attacked.

“Enough is enough, and as a community we must ensure Manmeet’s death is not in vain. We must make public transport safer and more respectful for everyone.

“Even the simple act of saying thank you to your driver can make a difference, and will be appreciated.”

Day of Respect

The National Day of Respect for Public Transport Workers will be held on Wednesday 9 November 2016.   There will be short tribute to Manmeet Sharma and a minute’s silence at the site of Manmeet’s death in Moorooka, Brisbane, commencing at 11am.

Commuters across Australia will also be encouraged to say “thank you” to bus drivers, tram drivers, taxi drivers and other public transport workers as a mark of respect for Manmeet Sharma and for the role public transport workers play in the community.

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