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Meat processor ‘refuses’ to provide fully-paid leave to employees self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms

Unite the Union have issued a stern statement about the lack of co-operation from Moy Park with regard to their staff.

They say that the company has failed to respond to the request for 100% paid leave for those unable to work.

Financial protection

Sean McKeever, Unite Regional Officer blasted the management of Moy Park for their “callous refusal” to extend financial protections to vulnerable and self-isolating employees.

“Moy Park bosses have once again confirmed their callous disregard for the well-being of their workers. Unite approached the company to request that those having to shield themselves due to underlying health issues, those self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms and other vulnerable workers should receive full pay for the duration of their absence.”

“We gave management a week to respond but at the end of that period we have received absolutely no response to our request whatsoever.”

‘Corporate greed’

“The UK government has provided 80% compensation for the costs of leave to employers, while sales revenues for foodstuffs are very sharply up – it is surely not too much to ask that workers who are self-isolating and those shielding due to their vulnerable status would not also have to face a financial crisis in this worrying time.”

“Other bosses in the food production and retail sector, such as Sainsbury’s, have extended similar guarantees to their vulnerable workers but for Moy Park the only priority that matters is maximising profit so that shareholders accumulate even more wealth and capital. This is about naked corporate greed.”

This new problem within Moy Park comes shortly after another issue involving 1000 workers walking out due to Covid-19 safety concerns.

Resentment

McKeever says that resentment has started to grow among the staff towards the company as a result of this.

“Food production workers are heroically risking themselves to safeguard the supplies that everyone in society needs. In the last week, these workers have demonstrated that they are not willing to become the collateral damage in a deadly cocktail of the abject failure of Stormont Ministers to enforce infection control measures and unbridled corporate greed.”

“This refusal by Moy Park bosses is already causing deep resentment among workers, indeed those I’ve spoken to are revulsed by the approach of management”, Mr McKeever concluded.

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