Coronavirus: Linden Food walkout

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th March 2020 - 

General views of meat factory workers outside the Linden Foods factory in Dungannon. The employees walked out complaining that there were not adequate social distancing measures in place. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th March 2020 - 

General views of meat factory workers outside the Linden Foods factory in Dungannon. The employees walked out complaining that there were not adequate social distancing measures in place. 

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th March 2020 - General views of meat factory workers outside the Linden Foods factory in Dungannon. The employees walked out complaining that there were not adequate social distancing measures in place. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. | Press Eye Ltd 5A Hawthorn Office Park 45 Stockmans Way Belfast BT9 7ET
Sixty workers refused to start their shift at a Dungannon based food group as social distancing measures are not in place, it has been claimed.

A regional officer for the union Unite, Brian Hewitt, claims that workers at Linden Food’s Dungannon site have demanded immediate talks with management over coronavirus infection control measures.

He has said the union will do whatever it takes to support the fight for adequate coronavirus infection controls.

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“There have been ongoing discussions between management and workers at Linden Foods in Dungannon over the issue of the absence of social distancing for workers on the boning line, in the canteen, in the changing areas and at entry and exit points,” said Brian.

“The company’s management has provided no additional wash facilities and failed to stagger breaks.

Workers have been reporting to Unite that those exhibiting symptoms are still allowed to work, as are those with family members who are self-isolating as a result of being in the high risk health category.

“Everyone needs to take responsibility but company’s actions are putting workers needlessly at further risk.”

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He continued: “Both inside and outside the company, Unite has been raising health and safety concerns over the last weeks and unfortunately these have been ignored by management.

“In desperation and fear for their health and well-being, this morning approximately sixty workers refused to enter the workplace and sought assurances from management that two metres spacing would be adopted throughout.

“Management are continuing to ignore the concerns of their workers – they are putting the lives and well-being of their employees at risk – their intransigence is entirely unacceptable.

“Linden Foods must engage with these workers and commit to providing comprehensive infection control measures to end this walkout.”

Linden Foods has been asked for comment.

Adam Morton , Local Democracy Reporting Service

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