Workers walk out of Co Tyrone plant in protest over social distancing measures

Workers walk out of Co Tyrone plant in protest over social distancing measures

Around 60 workers have refused to start their shifts at a food processing plant in Co Tyrone over safety concerns around coronavirus.

Unite the union said the workers at Linden Foods in Dungannon are demanding talks with management over infection control measures, claiming a “total absence of social distancing measures on boning line, in canteen and at entry and exit points”.

Unite regional officer Brian Hewitt said the union will do “whatever it takes to support our members’ fight for adequate coronavirus infection controls”.

“There have been ongoing issues between management and workers at Linden Foods in Dungannon over the issue of the absence of social distancing for workers on the boning line, in the canteen, changing areas and at entry and exit points,” he said.

“The company’s management has provided no additional wash facilities and failed to stagger breaks.

“Workers have been reporting to Unite that those exhibiting symptoms are still allowed to work, as are those with family members who are self-isolating as result of being in the high-risk health category.

“Both inside and outside the company, Unite has been raising health and safety concerns over the last weeks and unfortunately these have been ignored by management.

“In desperation and fear for their health and well-being, this morning approximately 60 workers refused to enter the workplace and sought assurances from management that two metres spacing would be adopted throughout.”

Earlier this week there were walk-outs at poultry firm Moy Park in Portadown and the ABP food group in Lurgan over similar concerns.

Linden Foods has been contacted for a response.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
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  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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