Talks between Unite and Rowan foods regarding health and safety issues and the payment of staff self-isolating due to the Covid19 outbreak on site, have broken down. Unite has been seeking assurances around improved health and safety measures on site to prevent further outbreaks of coronavirus amongst the workforce. It has also been seeking full pay for staff who are being required to self-isolate though Covid19.

Dave Griffiths Unite Regional Officer commented:

“Unite is extremely disappointed by the manner in which Rowan Foods have conducted themselves during discussions with us, both during and prior to the Covid19 outbreak at the plant.

Our members employed by Rowan are extremely concerned that the company has not taken the health and safety concerns that Unite has been raising since early June, with the urgent attention that they demand. Workers who are frightened for their own, and their family’s safety, must be reassured that no stone is being left unturned in the efforts to further protect them from contacting Covid19 whilst at work.

Rowan Foods should immediately introduce full pay for workers who are off work due to either having Covid19 or self-isolating after being contacted through Welsh Governments Test, Trace and Protect system. For workers already suffering from low pay it is morally bankrupt to then ask them, through no fault of their own, to self-isolate and survive on SSP. The simple fact is that some workers will continue to come to work and ignore the guidance if they are suffering financial detriment.

Protecting workers and the general public cannot be done on the cheap. Rowan Foods, who are an extremely profitable company, supplying some of the biggest names in the UK food industry have to step up to the plate. They have to put the appropriate health and safety measures alongside adequate financial support for the workforce, if they are to get themselves out of the current crisis that has enveloped them”.

ENDS

For further information please contact Glyn Conolly on 07974 131771

Notes to editors

 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.