The United National Transport Union (UNTU) would like to extend our sincerest condolences to each UNTU member, their families and loved ones who have lost a beautiful soul to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic which has claimed the lives of more than 2 million people worldwide.
The Union has always been very vocal in its stance that one life lost, is one too many.
“Unfortunately, with this pandemic, our hands are tied. The lives of our members depend on how they and all those surrounding them adhere to preventative measures. Even if they do, they have no guarantee that they will not get infected and no one knows how the body of an individual will react to this virus,” says Trevor Wasserfall, Acting President of UNTU.
Just over the past week, the UNTU Disa Branch of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in Bellville, Cape Town, had lost four (4) of its members while another three (3) Transnet employees working in the Port of Cape Town passed on.
“While we are praying for the safety of all our members, their families, and their loved ones, UNTU would also like to appeal to all South African’s to follow the Covid-19 protocol, adhere to the lockdown regulations, maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap or sanitize your hands and wear your facial mask.
“Adhering to the Covid-19 protocol is a small price to pay to try and combat this deadly pandemic that has cost the lives of more than 35 000 South African’s to date but is also killing our frail economy and bringing more hunger and hardship to the poor of the poorest,” says Wasserfall.
He appealed to all UNTU members whose jobs are essential to keeping the economy going, to keep an eye on each other, and to support each other.
“The second wave of this virus has exceeded our worst fears. It is devastating to lose a relative, a loved one, or a colleague in our Union family. If you or one of your colleagues are struggling to cope, do not hesitate to ask your UNTU trade union representative for assistance so that you can get help from the employee wellness programs provided by your employers,” says Wasserfall.
He commended all the UNTU members and staff of the Union who has taken its pledge, #UNTUCares, to their own communities where they are assisting with local projects to help those in need.
“Now is the time to give meaning to the spirit of UBUNTU in our country. Having humanity towards others in these exceedingly difficult times will play a major role in our fight against this pandemic as a society,” says Wasserfall.
Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Officer. For UNTU press statements, phone Sonja on 082 463 6806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org