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March 26, 2020

Moy Park sees staff walk out over Covid-19 safety fears

UK meat processor Moy Park has seen staff at one of its facilities take action over Covid-19 safety fears.

By Leonie Barrie

UK meat processor Moy Park has seen workers at one of its plants stage a walkout over Covid-19 safety fears.

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The Northern Ireland-based company, owned by US poultry giant Pilgrim’s Pride, said 100 workers downed tools to stage a 15-minute walkout at its Seagoe, Portadown, plant yesterday (25 March), although trade union Unite claimed the figure was higher.

The union said the protest concerned what workers saw as a lack of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Unite regional organiser Sean McKeever said the walkout “follows the failure of the biggest employer in Northern Ireland to provide basic health and safety protections to its workforce”.   He added: “Unite attempted to secure commitments to ensure a minimum two metre social distancing between workers and other measures to enable infection control in the face of the coronavirus threat but our proposals were dismissed by management.”   McKeever called on Moy Park management to address the workers’ fears.

“Food production workers will not be treated as second-class,” he said.

In a statement sent to just-food. a spokesperson for Moy Park said: “The health and wellbeing of our team is our most important consideration and we have put new, robust measures in place to keep them safe.

“We have thoroughly reviewed our sites and continue to take on board feedback from our team members. We had already identified seven areas to enhance social distancing. These measures include staggering breaks, re-spacing workstations and communal areas, as well as installing screens on appropriate production lines. 

“We also continue to make provisions for those who can work from home to do so using remote technology as well as increased cleaning and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). We are continually reviewing the situation and taking additional steps where necessary.”

Last week, Moy Park said it was looking to bring in hundreds of temporary employees following a marked increase in grocery retail demand for poultry produce due to Covid-19.

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
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What is the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry?

While wanting to protect the country from being overwhelmed by Omicron, China’s adherence to a Zero-COVID policy is resulting in a significant economic downturn. COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and many other Chinese cities will impact 2022’s economic growth as consumers and businesses experience rolling lockdowns, leading to a slowdown in domestic and international supply chains. China’s Zero-COVID policy is having a demonstrable impact on consumer-facing industries. Access GlobalData’s new whitepaper, China in 2022: the impact of China’s Zero-COVID lockdowns on economic activity, consumer goods and the foodservice industry, to examine the current situation in Shanghai and other cities in China, to better understand the worst-affected industry sectors, foodservice in particular, and to explore potential growth opportunities as China recovers. The white paper covers:
  • Which multinational companies have been affected?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on foodservice?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on Chinese ports?
  • Spotlight on Shanghai: what is the situation there?
  • How have Chinese consumers reacted?
  • How might the Chinese government react?
  • What are the potential growth opportunities?
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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