GMB LONDON CALL ON BAKKAVOR MANAGEMENT TO RADICALLY REORGANIZE PRODUCTION METHODS

GMB LONDON CALL ON BAKKAVOR MANAGEMENT TO RADICALLY REORGANIZE PRODUCTION METHODS AND SCHEDULES TO MAKE LONDON FOOD PLANTS COMPLIANT WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES FOR SAFE OPERATION

The health emergency will last for some time so there is no alternative for the safety of the workforce and the general public says GMB London

GMB London, the union for food industry workers, is calling on Bakkavor management at west and north London prepared food plants to radically reorganize production methods and line speeds to make the plants compliant with social distancing rules for the safety of the workforce and the general public.

GMB recognise that this reorganisation will slow down the production process but like in the supermarkets at the other end of the food chain there is no alternative.

GMB London has separately called for the company to improve its sick pay scheme to ensure that workers needing to self-isolate during the health emergency are able to afford to stay off work for the safety of the workforce and the general public. See notes to editors below for copy of the GMB London press release

Andre Marques, GMB London Region Officer said:
“GMB members at Bakkavor meals London are reporting no social distancing measures and no other safety measures for the production line are put in place as part of safe operation of the plant which mean the workers are forced to work in crowded conditions.

Those members working in the Bakkavor sites consider that Government guidelines with regards to social distancing are being completely ignored and disregarded. This is not acceptable to GMB members.

One worker said: “we work on an assembly line next to each other, social distance sometimes can’t be adhered to with the current production methods and line speeds. In addition we also have to sit in crowded canteen during break time and put our health at risk. This also applies for common areas.”

This has to radically change like the supermarkets have changed at the retail end of the food chain. This has slowed down operations big time but has been accepted by customers who have complied without problems. This has to happen at the production end of the food chain too. There is no alternative while recognising that the production process will be slowed down.

GMB London call on Bakkavor Management to speak to shop stewards and staff about a radical reorganisation of production methods, line speeds etc to make them compliant with social distancing rules. This has to happen in the canteen, other common areas and exit and entry points.

The health emergency is going to last for some time so there is no alternative to such a radical reorganisation for the safety of the workforce and the general public.

GMB London has already raised its concerns about sick pay provision so that it is sufficient to prevent presenteeism, based on our experience to date.

GMB London will of course continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our approach to managing this crisis as and when required in this unprecedented time.”

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