The director of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, Edel McGinley has said meat plant workers are “frightened and angry” and are uncertain if they are being protected in their workplaces.
Ms McGinley told RTÉ radio’s Today programme that she is very concerned and worried about the outbreaks of Covid-19 clusters in meat processing plants.
Measures had not been put in place quickly enough to protect meat plant workers against Covid-19, she said and her organisation had been contacted by many concerned meat plant workers.
It is not obvious what is happening at these places of work and whether the situation is being dealt with in any co-ordinated way.
Workers had also complained that there were no proper sick pay schemes in place making it difficult for them when they became ill and attempted to apply for social welfare.
Two weeks was not enough sick leave as some could be ill for much longer, she said.
This also raised the issue of whether some meat plant workers were going back to work too soon, she added.
Ms McGinley called for deep cleaning of any plants where there was an outbreak of the virus.
Such plants should be closed and not reopened until it was safe to do so.
She also called for greater clarity for workers on what their entitlements might be.
“The onus is on employers to assist people in these situations to apply for sick pay at a lower rate,” she said.