The Union of Hungarian Public Transportation Workers (BTDSZ) wants to block the seats behind bus drivers and separate them from passengers due to conflicts arising from mask-wearing, while the number of infected people is also on the rise amongst BKV workers.
As if fighting against the pandemic situation was not enough, workers of the Budapest Transport Privately Held Corporation (BKV) also have to fight passengers. Magyar Narancs reported a case from a couple of weeks ago, where a bus driver had to deal with an aggressively behaving passenger, who refused to wear a face mask.
Although the bus driver was trying his best explaining the passenger the necessity of wearing a face mask, the passenger was yelling more and more furiously. The incident urged the driver to ask BKV for physical protection in order to be able to do his job.
He was claiming, as cases like this are becoming more and more frequent, it is becoming impossible to do his job safely. He told Magyar Narancs, they cannot protect themselves and that it is hard to remain patient and polite with passengers when these incidents happen almost every day.
The bus driver expects measures to be taken in order to prevent such cases, as he is not the only one experiencing such horrors.
Addressing the issue, BKV admitted to Magyar Narancs that recently, bus drivers have been reporting smaller arguments on a daily basis, but only in a couple of cases per month was it required to take action (the most recent cases of conflicts were, however, not related to masks).
According to BKV, in cases of conflicts and danger, bus drivers can ask for help from the dispatchers, but arguments can be solved quite frequently with the help of other passengers, too. One solution will not fit all, but assistance from the police can help solve issues more quickly, and passengers can help to call them, too.
According to their records, the number of violent cases against drivers was growing in the first nine months of the year, compared to 2019 – although the growth is luckily not significant.
Based on the Criminal Code of the Republic of Hungary, a violation against drivers is punishable by imprisonment up to eight years and in such cases, BKV provides legal assistance to their employees.
On the other hand, István Szabó, leader of BTDSZ, considers the situation a lot more serious. Verbal abuse against bus drivers is becoming more and more common, and consequently, their job is becoming more and more mentally demanding. The condition of vehicles is getting worse too, and there is a shortage of repair technicians. The union would like to have the drivers separated again, stop front-door use and block the seats that are directly behind the drivers.
Featured image: MTI