Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD has said that the revelation by the Irish Examiner this morning that a large poultry company has been charging employees for PPE is an utterly unacceptable situation and he has called for the practice to end immediately.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, no other private industry has had more of an impact on Covid-19 case numbers than the meat and food processing sector.
“Meat plants have accounted for one third of workplace clusters. They are high-risk workplaces and the provision of PPE in these factories is essential to help halt the spread of Covid-19.
“The revelation this morning by the Irish Examiner that Manor Farm has been charging workers – many of whom are on incredibly low wages – for essential PPE reinforces many of the concerns about conditions in the food processing sector.
“It is unthinkable, in the midst of a global pandemic, that a company would not provide its workers with the equipment they need to keep them safe as a basic condition of their employment. This is an utterly unacceptable situation and the practice should end immediately.
“The Minister for Agriculture and the HSA should undertake to find out if this practice is happening elsewhere and ensure it is stamped out.
“This should serve as a reminder that the lack of transparency and poor working conditions in the meat and food processing sector need to be urgently addressed.”