Workers described a Boohoo warehouse in Sheffield where 25 people were infected with the coronavirus as “breeding ground” for the disease.
Speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals, employees of the center also revealed how employees would arrive in “packed cars” to save on transportation costs.
And a video posted on social media on March 26 shows employees in close proximity in high-visibility jackets at the warehouse, in apparent violation of social distancing rules.
This is the second time a warehouse connected to Boohoo has been involved in allegations of worker abuse after reports surfaced that a center in Leicester paid employees £ 3.50 an hour, less half the minimum wage.
Over a billion pounds has been wiped out of the company’s share price as it plunged more than 25%.
The price has so far not reached its highest level of £ 387.50 per share on July 3.
Boohoo workers described Tinsley, Sheffield plant as “breeding ground” for virus with workers arriving in “packed cars”
And a video posted on social media in March shows workers at the factory all very close to each other, seemingly breaking away from social distancing. Area deputy Clive Betts says he received 50 worker complaints about the plant
A father of two working in the Sheffield warehouse told the Sunday Times that he must continue to drag boxes of shoes, handbags and dresses for women despite fever, constipation and back pain.
The 51-year-old athlete, one of those who tested positive for the virus, said, “I had to put food on the table for my children. I knew there was a risk in continuing to work.
“I caught him in the warehouse,” he said. “There is no way I should have worked. Why is the distribution of cheap women’s fashion essential?
He also revealed how his wife’s breathing had become labored and that their 12-year-old son had become lethargic. They have also tested positive for Covid-19.
Clive Betts, local MPP for the area, says he has a database of as many as 50 workers who expressed concerns about their safety at the warehouse during the lockout.
He said complaints started arriving eight days after the lockdown, with some saying they felt their lives were in danger.
The Sheffield warehouse was investigated by Sheffield City Council and Public Health England. Under-fire Boohoo’s billion dollar erased
The Sheffield warehouse is a distribution center for the online women’s brand only and operated by a third party company called Clipper. No garment is made in the center.
The warehouse was studied by Sheffield City Council and Public Health England between April and June, after they recognized it as a coronavirus hotspot.
But they found that he had taken “reasonable measures” to ensure the safety of workers.
Staff at the center come from Poland, Romania, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sudan.
A secret investigation into a Leicester warehouse used by Boohoo by the Sunday Times also revealed that no additional hygiene or social distancing measures were in place at the height of the pandemic.
This triggered visits from seven different agencies at the center, including the Leicestershire police, Leicestershire city council and immigration services.
The city is currently blocked locally due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
Reports follow allegations that its Leicester factory pays workers £ 3.50 an hour, less than half the minimum wage
Clipper and Boohoo told the Sunday Times that all of the government’s directives had been followed.
“The warehouse has been inspected several times by Public Health England and Sheffield town council and has been approved each time,” said Clipper.
Responding to a March video of gathered workers, Boohoo general manager John Lyttle said, “I want to reassure you that we took immediate action when it came to our attention.”
In response to the Sunday Times factory investigation in Leicester, Boohoo hired a top lawyer to investigate reports that its factories were working below minimum wage and violating safety regulations.
The brand under fire said it was “shocked and dismayed” before claiming to have found “some inaccuracies” in the reports.