Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The fatal cost of bus privatisation

From the Daily Mail, Tuesday 8th July

Bus company bosses jailed after exhausted Polish driver who couldn't speak English killed workman on a crane

Two bus company chiefs who hired Polish drivers who didn't speak English or know how to handle a double- decker have been jailed after a workman was knocked down and killed.
Vincenzo Casale, 44, and David Ellis, 37, were 'morally responsible' for the death of Martin Pilling, a court was told.
The 27-year-old workman was at the top of a 'cherry picker' crane when it was hit by a bus with Polish driver Krzysztof Ociepa at the wheel.
Mr Pilling was knocked out of the cherry picker's 'basket' and suffered fatal injuries.
An investigation into the bus firm in the wake of the tragedy found a catalogue of safety breaches by the cost-cutting bosses who had employed 100 Polish drivers.
Bus drivers at UK North and GM Buses Enterprises Ltd worked up to 31 consecutive days without a proper break and one Polish employee ripped the roof off a double-decker because he was lost and didn't understand warning road signs.
Bosses Casale and Ellis were sent to prison for 15 months last week after they admitted trying to cover up evidence of the safety breaches.
Last night Mr Pilling's father Tony, 53, who works as a systems manager for another bus firm, condemned the pair for cutting corners.

'It was pure greed and profit that drove these men,' he said.

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