A Corby company continues to transport workers from London despite an ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
iForce, which operates two sites in Corby, has employed dozens of London workers for months as it cannot get enough local workers to fill its duties. Many of them stay at the Holiday Inn next door for the next week, then return home to London at the weekend.
The company declined to confirm how many workers come from the capital to Corby each week, but one worker told reporters there were 172 per day shift.
An outbreak during Christmas week at the Geddington Road site was described by the company as “very small”. But since then the Northants Telegraph learned that 15 workers tested positive and 18 others are self-isolating after coming in close contact with someone who has since tested positive.
The site acts as a logistics center for major brands such as John Lewis and Tesco. The government advises that people can leave their homes to work if they cannot work from home, but should avoid unnecessary travel. London rates today prompted the great Sadiq Khan to declare a major incident amid peak hospital admissions.
Corby’s spiraling coronavirus rates – which have doubled in seven days – led the borough to be mentioned at this week’s national government gold command meeting.
An incredible 19,000 people in Corby work in the transportation, storage, manufacturing or wholesale industries, which means employers have pressured workers to send their children to school so they can work. Some local schools reported over 50% attendance this week, prompting a principal to rewrite his policy on school education for children.
MP Tom Pursglove has now written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to share more general concerns from residents about the number of businesses in the city that have decided to stay open while their workers are not are not essential to coronavirus efforts.
In an email to an affected voter, Mr Pursglove said:
Earlier this week, the government broadened its definition of critical workers to include a broader range of employees.
An iForce spokeswoman said: “As per our last statement, iForce can confirm that we have a small number of colleagues who tested positive for Covid-19 (not all of whom were working at the time).
“We have 15 confirmed cases at the two sites and 18 other colleagues who are self-isolating due to our contact tracing policy or due to demands within their own homes. This represents less than 2 percent of our workforce, and three more cases since the last publication.
We continue to work closely with local councils and PHE to ensure our Covid-19 processes are industry leading. The health, safety and well-being of all our colleagues is paramount to our organization and we have made and continue to make great efforts to ensure the safety of all of our employees. We have put strong measures in place, all in line with government guidelines, and invested in new safety and social distancing measures to protect all of our “critical workers”.
“These are unprecedented circumstances and our priorities are the safety and well-being of our colleagues. We continue to apply the strictest hygiene and social distancing measures at all of our locations and we work hard to ensure the safety of our employees, as we have been doing from the start. of this pandemic.
Northants Public Health bosses have been contacted for comment.