Trade union repeat call for action on meat industry after new Covid factory outbreaks

Legislative action needed immediately on sick pay says SIPTU statement

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Trade union repeat call for action on meat industry after new Covid factory outbreaks

Essential workers in meat factories

The trade union, SIPTU , has called yet again on the Government to act immediately on the recommendations of the Oireachtas committee on the meat industry.

Following reports of two more significant Covid-19 clusters in Cork and Wexford, with more than 100 workers testing positive for the virus, SIPTU Manufacturing Division Organiser, Greg Ennis, has called on the Government to act immediately on the recommendations of the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 for the Meat Industry.

 He also questioned the accuracy of the numbers of infections among its workers which have been disclosed by the industry over the last ten months.“The Government has failed to act on the recommendations from the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 for the Meat Industry. The key recommendations called for mandatory sick pay in the meat processing sector and other low paid jobs, the granting of work permits to be conditional on sick pay provision, installation of Covid-19 compliance officers in the workplace and the routine testing of meat plant workers with results delivered within twenty-four hours.”

 Mr Ennis said:“The Tánaiste’s commitment to put sick pay on a statutory footing by the end of this year is too little and very late. We need legislative measures to be taken now on sick pay provision. It rings hollow with these employees, their families and the wider community to be described as ‘essential workers’ by the same senior politicians who have failed to act on Oireachtas recommendations made last October. We are calling again for the creation of a ‘farm to fork’ taskforce to address the failings that have come to light in the low paid meat and food production sectors during the pandemic.”