Union raises concern over Greencore coronavirus case

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Greencore has confirmed a case of COVID-19 at its Northampton site
Greencore has confirmed a case of COVID-19 at its Northampton site

Related tags coronavirus Chilled foods

Members of the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) at Greencore’s Northampton factory have raised concerns after a member of staff working at the site tested positive for COVID-19.

The union was alerted to the presence of the coronavirus at the factory on Saturday morning (2 May), after a manager was sent home Friday morning with symptoms of the virus.

A Greencore spokesman said: “We can confirm that a colleague at our Northampton site has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, we immediately contact-traced everyone who has recently come into contact with the colleague and they are now also self-isolating as a precautionary measure.

Social distancing

“In line with Government guidance, we have also advised all colleagues at the site to register for a test if they are experiencing any symptoms. In addition, we have carried out a deep clean of all of the areas in which the colleague had been working.”

The BFAWU said its members were concerned about their safety at the factory. One worker at Greencore Northampton told the union that the manager had been working on the shop floor with production staff and was worried that this could have caused the virus to spread.

In an email sent to Greencore bosses, BFAWU branch president Andrew Williams questioned receiving the manufacturer’s policy surrounding safe working during the outbreak of COVID-19 and the safety of its members working at the site.

‘Unnecessary stress’

Williams claimed the situation had caused stress for BFAWU’s members working for Greencore. “They also have concerns in regards to their health and wellbeing when returning to work,” ​he added.

Williams also raised concerns that the union was yet to receive a risk assessment for COVID-19 from Greencore. A formal grievance was raised with the manufacturer as a result.

Meanwhile, food industry coronavirus support initiatives continue to build momentum​, with a host of firms rallying to aid the vulnerable, NHS staff and their peers in the sector.

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