A Workers’ Party representative has reacted to a report from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) highlighting issues in meat processing plants.

The report concerningly highlights “staff working face to face, ill-fitted specialist masks and tightly spaced locker rooms”

David Gardiner, Workers’ Party representative in Palmerstown-Fonthill and Dublin Mid-West said:
“Although the report redacts the names of the factories inspected or the dates the inspections took place, it notes that one factory in particular had multiple issues where face coverings were not used, which was particularly concerning in areas where social distancing was not possible. Across the board it seems that workers were supplied with ill-fitting masks and as such wearing them incorrectly.”

“Workers in this industry are subjected to low pay, poor terms and conditions and non- existent health and safety regulations. The Workers’ Party calls on the government to implement without delay the key recommendations in the report, including mandatory sick pay for all workers and the introduction of COVID-19 compliance officers. “

“Workers in this industry must have protection, they are entitled to decent pay, terms and conditions and a safe environment to work in. This would benefit not only these workers but society as a whole as we work to combat COVID-19.

“Workers’ lives are not dispensable in the interests of profit and this message must be made clear to those running the factories.”