Around 80 workers walk out of NI meat factory over Covid-19 measures

Workers have walked out of a NI meat factory site over safety fears relating to Covid-19 measures.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 10:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 10:56 am

Around 80 staff walked off the ABP Meats site in Lurgan, Co Armagh says the union Unite.

They demanded that ‘where workers are deemed essential every possible measure should be taken and enforced to protect them’.

Susan Fitzgerald, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer called on government to act to protect workers.

There have been 29 confirmed cases in NI

“Approximately 80 employees at ABP Meats in Lurgan who are deemed ‘essential’ refused work today over fears for their safety.

“Unite has been informed that the workers are demanding adequate social distancing of two metres be facilitated and enforced and other measures be adopted to keep workers as separated as possible and deep-cleans are conducted on work stations where workers have self-isolated with Coronavirus symptoms.

“What is happening here is entirely foreseeable.

“In the context of a pandemic, where workers are feeling unsafe at work there needs to be clear government enforcement of Public Health Agency Coronavirus guidelines to ensure their safety.

“In particular there can be no institution of a two-tier health and safety regime of protective measures for workers in the food sector.

“Government inaction is going to cost lives.

“There must be a full lock-down of non-essential companies and where workers are deemed essential every possible measure should be taken and enforced to protect them - or else they shouldn’t be there”, Ms Fitzgerald said.

ABP Meats has been asked for a comment.