Union demands full pay for self-isolating 2 Sisters workers

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unite has demand full pay for workers self-isolating at 2 Sisters Coupar Angus
Unite has demand full pay for workers self-isolating at 2 Sisters Coupar Angus

Related tags: coronavirus, Meat & Seafood

Workers union Unite has demanded 2 Sisters Food Group provide full pay to workers at its Coupar Angus factory that are self-isolating amid a string of COVID-19 cases there.

The union called on the poultry processor to offer the same pay scheme set in place when the first outbreak of coronavirus hit the site in August of last year.

Unite industrial officer Susan Robertson said: “Unite welcomed the previous decision by 2 Sisters in August 2020 to pay these low-income workers full pay and we are calling on them to do the right thing once again.

"It’s vital that 2 Sisters also investigate the possibility of utilising the Job Support Scheme for these workers due to the fact that although the factory has not been closed they have had to change operations due to COVID risk.

Position to support workers

Robertson pointed to the manufacturer’s continued operations during a time when many businesses had been forced to close. She also highlighted the company’s employment of more staff as a sign that 2 Sisters was able to offer full pay to self-isolating workers.

“If workers are fit to be at work but self-isolating due to Public Health Scotland’s advice then they should be paid in full – it is as simple as that,” ​she added.

Responding to the union’s demands, a 2 Sisters spokesman said the company was in talks with union representatives at a local level.

‘In-house support fund’

“We have supported those colleagues self-isolating including approving holiday requests to cover periods off, assisting with Scottish government grant funding opportunities and directing them to our own in-house support fund,” ​said the spokesman.

2 Sisters Coupar Angus saw an expected rise of COVID-19 cases to 63 at the site last week, with more than 80 employees self-isolating as a precaution. The rise was directly linked to an increase in cases in the local area, according to NHS Tayside.

“Thankfully the number of positive cases and self-isolations have reduced and as a result the Incident Management Team is not formally meeting again but remain in close contact with the business,” ​the spokesman concluded.

Meanwhile, one person has died from COVID-19​ and 47 have tested positive for the disease at Müller Milk & Ingredients’ site in Bridgwater, Somerset, leading to scaled down production.

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