May 1, 2020
Plan needed to protect Agri-food workers in our meat plants – Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to urgently put in place plans for meat factory inspections.

Last night, Deputy Stanley raised a number of questions in the Dáil regarding concerns that public health guidelines were not being enforced correctly within the Agri-food sector and that workers were being put at risk.

Speaking today, Deputy Stanley said:

“Those who work within the Agri-food sector are essential workers providing a crucial role within our food supply chain. Their health must be protected as a priority.

“Last night, I raised concerns in the Dáil that public health guidelines were not being followed correctly and that clusters of positive Covid-19 cases were appearing in meat factories. 

“I asked the Minister for Agriculture last night if a plan has been put in place for inspections of factories, how many inspections have been carried out since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and if communication lines are in place for workers who want to speak out.

“The responses I received to these questions left a lot to be answered and clarified.

“The Agri-food sector is an essential part of our supply chain and it must continue without disruption. This can, and must, be achieved without workers putting their lives at risk. A proper process for inspections and ensuring that public health guidelines are in place must form part of a response from the Department of Agriculture.

“We need to see a plan announced very quickly about how they intend to deal with these issues adequately.”

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