The Workers Union has fired a broadside at Boris Johnson, telling the PM to ‘get a grip’ on COVID infections in food factories.
The statement comes as a poultry plant in Norfolk reported an infection rate of 22 percent of its workforce. The spike will see at least 350 people self-isolate, after 75 staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Food manufacturing has been particularly badly hit in recent weeks. On Wednesday, the Chief Operating Officer of the Food Standards Agency announced that his organisation was examining recent outbreaks of the virus. Dr Colin Sullivan said that they were ‘looking at approximately 40 food processing plants in meat and non-meat with active outbreaks.’
The Workers Union Says
Back in June, the Prime Minister said that he was taking the issue of safety in meat factories seriously. He assured us that it was a priority and even suggested some solutions during the Kirklees outbreak. However, recent reports indicate that the government has failed to deal with the problem. Track and trace still seems to be hit and hope, and the absence of a reliable warehouse of data is telling.
The government urgently needs to get a grip on this issue. Norfolk is a largely rural area that relies on agricultural production to support the local economy. Partial closures like this reduce confidence in British food production and could have profound effects on regional jobs.
We want to see effective track and trace, so hot spots can be quickly identified and dealt with. Working people should not have to go into work running the gauntlet of a dangerous virus. After all, you can’t run an engine without petrol and workers the length and breadth of this country are the fuel that will drive our recovery. So let’s look after them by making sure that they are able to carry out their jobs in safety. Anything else will be a failure of public health policy on a grand scale.
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union