Staff at ABP and Moy Park ‘hold walk-out’ over Covid-19 concerns

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Written by Agriland Team

A large number of staff have held a walk-out at sites owned by Moy Park and ABP in Northern Ireland, according to trade union Unite the Union.

The trade union claims that 1,000 workers have walked off a Moy Park site in Seagoe in Portadown, while approximately 80 workers have left the ABP site in Lurgan over Covid-19 concerns.

Sean McKeever, Unite regional officer, confirmed that there had been a mass walkout of workers at Moy Park at Seagoe, Portadown:

Up to one thousand workers have walked out of the Seagoe Moy Park site in Portadown. This follows the failure of the biggest employer in Northern Ireland to provide basic health and safety protections to its workforce.
“Unite attempted to secure commitments to ensure a minimum two metre social distancing between workers and other measures to enable infection control in the face of the Coronavirus threat but our proposals were dismissed by management.

“Workers are refusing to return to work in unsafe conditions.

“We need to see immediate movement from management to address the workers’ legitimate fears over Coronavirus transmission – there cannot be any two-tier approach to health and safety in workplaces. Food production workers will not be treated as second-class”, McKeever said.

Meanwhile, in ABP, Susan Fitzgerald, Unite regional coordinating officer called on government to act to protect workers.

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,” she added.

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