Workers at Covid hit Tilmanstone Salads must be given sick pay to stop spread, says GMB Union

0
59
A union is calling on workers at a plant affected by Covid to urgently receive sick pay, saying it is “the most important step” they can take to eradicate the spread there – while the site staff say he’s afraid to go to work.

The GMB calls come after two employees at Bakkavor’s Tilmanstone Salad in Eythorne died this week after testing positive.

Covid-19 has broken out in Tilmanstone Salads and two people have died
Covid-19 has broken out in Tilmanstone Salads and two people have died

Bakkavor, who provides salads for the factory’s Marks and Spencer, responded that he is now looking to introduce increased pay for staff in the event of an outbreak, but is doing what is economically viable.

Figures on infection and self-isolation released by Bakkavor and GMB are contradictory. But this afternoon, the union said 99 employees tested positive between the beginning of November and today.

Bakkavor did not confirm that figure and said last night there were 65 positive cases and 68 people were self-isolating with an update scheduled for the morning.

The broadcast began in November and now continues through the Millyard Way, Eythorne factory.

GMB spokesman Frank Macklin said: “Bakkavor Tilmanstone salads had only seen a few positive cases of Covid-19 before November, but we have now seen the virus sweeping the plant at an alarming rate in one little more than four weeks.

The GMB union is demanding that staff receive sick pay if they are forced to fall ill or self-isolate due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the factory.The GMB union is demanding that staff receive sick pay if they are forced to fall ill or self-isolate due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the factory.
The GMB union is demanding that staff receive sick pay if they are forced to fall ill or self-isolate due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the factory.

“There is an urgent need for Bakkavor Tilmanstone salads to pay employees their full salary if they have tested positive for covid-19 or if they need to self-isolate. This is the most important step they can take to eradicate this epidemic. ”

Today cash-strapped workers told Kentonline they were ‘scared to go to work’ but had to attend to get paid.

We heard from two employees whose identities we protect to safeguard their jobs.

They all felt that the security measures were not up to the standards required before and after the deaths.

One added that it was “too little too late” and that the union says staff were only asked to wear masks instead of visors last week.

“The situation is getting worse and we really have the impression that a danger will work…”

The same worker said going to work was a “danger” and complained of being “increasingly concerned and frustrated” with the management of the epidemic.

Bakkavor revealed yesterday that on-site testing begins next week, but the worker said it would be “redundant” where testing is not mandatory and is only available Monday and Tuesday.

Existing Covid measures are “ineffective” according to the worker who added: “They installed a thermometer system to capture high temperatures, but it is placed after the canteen and the smoking area, thus giving the virus the chance to spread throughout the plant before a high temperature is even captured.

“The situation is getting worse and it really looks like the danger will work with the currently inadequate measures and the too little too late nature of management.

“I am currently employed by the agency, which means there is no sick pay if I were to isolate or even catch the virus. ”

Logo Bakkavor.  Credit: bakkavor.comLogo Bakkavor.  Credit: bakkavor.com
Logo Bakkavor. Credit: bakkavor.com

Another employee said, “Honestly, I’m afraid to go to work right now, but if I don’t, I won’t have the money to live on.

“They had a ‘good deep clean’ yesterday (for four to five hours).

“We were asked to come two hours later so that a company could spray disinfectant mist in the common food courts.

“I think they should shut down for a while, but instead they’re testing us all en masse on Monday and Tuesday next week, so I imagine we’ll end up shutting down once half of the hand- of work will be called to isolate itself.

“We have also been advised not to enter into media discussions on the situation which I believe has caused panic as it leads us to believe that there is something to fear. ”

“I still don’t think it’s enough. It will be very interesting to see how many people test positive – I imagine there are a lot of people who have it without symptoms. ”

“I’m sure there is certainly a real possibility that this spread through the food, especially since we only wore visors and not masks for a good five months before switching to face masks for the week. last. ”

Mr. Macklin added, “GMB has already called for the plant to shut down to allow for mass testing of employees and a deep cleaning of its plant.

“The company hired an independent company to clean the facility – but the process only took a few hours and the plant remained open. It is clearly not enough.

“GMB has filed a formal group grievance on behalf of our members because we believe the health and safety of our members has been seriously compromised at the plant.

A spokesperson for Bakkavor said, “Bakkavor’s focus is on the safety of his people and within that framework of securing jobs at a critical time when Kent is in Level 3 lockdown.

“Bakkavor is doing what is economically viable. We are planning to introduce increased compensation for staff in the event of an outbreak and will share details on this in the coming days after speaking with our staff. ”

“The official case numbers are as in the Bakkavor statement shared yesterday.

“An update statement will be released on the issues tomorrow. ”

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest Sandwich news

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

(vitag.Init = window.vitag.Init || []).push(function () { viAPItag.display(“vi_1088641796”) })

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here