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Andy Burnham pledges support for Unite’s campaign for safe transport for late-night workers

Greater Manchester mayor backs Get Me Home Safely campaign

The metro mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has pledged support for Unite’s ground-breaking campaign for free and safe late-night transport to be provided to workers.

The Get Me Home Safely campaign calls for employers to provide safe and free transport home for all workers past 11pm.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s campaign is gathering momentum with council after council supporting our call for shift workers, often women, who do not have a safe route home to be provided with one.

“The support of Andy Burnham is an important step to ensuring that businesses and councils in Greater Manchester take steps to ensure that workers can get home safely late at night. 

“Unite will not stop until the impossible choice of staying safe or saving wages is made a thing of the past.”

The Get Me Home Safely campaign brings together hospitality and passenger transport members. As well as organising workers to win safe and free transport home from employers, Unite’s campaign seeks to encourage local authorities to make safe and free transport home for late night workers a requirement for new and extended alcohol licences. 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “For those working into the night in hospitality – particularly women – getting home after their shift is something that weighs heavily on their minds and it’s time for change. They currently face the choice of parting with a chunk of their wages on a taxi or being in fear if they are walking or getting public transport home.

“Through our Greater Manchester TravelSafe Partnership we are taking an enforcement, engagement and education led approach to make sure that public transport is safer. Transport staff and police dedicate more than 5,000 hours per week patrolling the Metrolink and bus networks, day and night, seven days a week. However, Unite’s Get Me Home Safely campaign is the very best way that we can ensure people feel truly safe getting home, without being unfairly out of pocket.” 

Night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, said: “I was pleased to address Unite’s Get Me Home Safely launch meeting in Manchester this month. It goes without saying that the safety and wellbeing of all employees in the hospitality industry is a huge priority to myself and the mayor of Greater Manchester, and we will work together with Unite to ensure the city region is leading the way in establishing best practice to ensure all workers feel confident and protected in their roles.”

The Get Me Home Safely campaign has also been backed by councils in Glasgow, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh, East Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Falkirk, Dundee, Wigan, Birmingham, Brighton and Plymouth: Workers are already starting to see the benefits of safe and free transport home past the last bus, train or tram.

The mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, has also backed the campaign