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Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.



Government ‘passing the buck’ on workplace risks

Business leaders have joined trade unions in warning Boris Johnson he risks spreading confusion by making employers decide when to bring back their staff to offices and other workplaces. In a 17 July statement, the prime minister announced: “From 1 August, we will update our advice on going to work. Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.” Warning that the prime minister was “passing the buck”, trades unions said more guidance and support was required to ensure a safe return to work. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Returns to workplaces must happen in a phased and safe way. The government is passing the buck on this big decision to employers.” She added: “Getting back to work safely requires a functioning NHS Test and Trace system. Yet progress on test and trace is still patchy, and the government is still refusing to support workers who have to self-isolate by raising statutory sick pay from just £95pw to a rate people can live on. A safe return to workplaces also requires much greater investment in public transport if people are to be able to commute to workplaces.” Prior to asking workers to return, the TUC is calling on employers to complete and publish their Covid-Secure risk assessments as required by law, in consultation with unions and their workforces. It also says employers must act on the risk assessment to enable safer working, ensuring effective social distancing and supplying PPE if it is required. It adds flexible working and staggered start times should be part of the plan. Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Companies, in discussion with their employees, will decide how and when to return to offices safely. To take those decisions, businesses need crystal-clear official guidance.” Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the CBI, said: “Concern about infection is still high. The government’s announcements will not change that overnight, but changes in messaging on transport and further testing can lay a path to building confidence and helping those who want to come back to the office.” He added: “Businesses will now be closely examining government guidance. Clarity and consistency must guard against confusion.”
TUC news release. Prime minister’s statement. CBI news release. BCC news release. The Guardian and related video. BBC News Online.
Find links to many employer Covid-Secure risk assessments at the TUC's new website. Workers and employers can add details of their own assessments to the database.

Unions accuse PM of ‘dangerous’ return to work push

Unions have accused the prime minister of a failure of leadership as he passed responsibility for keeping people safe to employers and local authorities. Commenting after Boris Johnson’s call for a much wider return to the workplace from 1 August, GMB acting general secretary John Phillips said: “The prime minister has once again shown a failure of leadership in the face of this pandemic. Passing the responsibility of keeping the people safe to employers and local authorities is confusing and dangerous. With fears of a second spike looming, bewildering advice, and a desperately underfunded health service – the prime minister’s talk of returning to normality by Christmas just seems phony.” Train drivers’ union ASLEF criticised the government's decision to ditch its ‘based on the science’ Covid-19 working from home guidance and instead tell millions of people to start using public transport again and return to their offices. ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “Mr Johnson and his ministers have become the masters of mixed messaging and misleading information.” He added: “We cannot deliver safely anywhere like the peaks of the past and we are not convinced that this is the right time to relax procedures designed to keep passengers, and staff, safe from Covid-19 on public transport in Britain. As train drivers we believe in public transport – we love trains! – and we want people to use trains and buses. But we want passengers to be able to travel safely and this seems to be too much, too soon.” RMT senior assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Covid-19 is waging war against both lives and livelihoods but in recent days the government’s response has once again been mired in chaos, confusion and mixed messaging.” Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said: “This is more mixed messages from the government and a lack of clarity on key points. It's clear that the government is now desperate to pass the blame for its mishandling of the pandemic onto others, whether local authorities, employers or individuals.”
ASLEF news release. GMB news release. RMT news release. TSSA news release. Evening Standard. Morning Star.

Government was told poor sick pay was an infection factor

An admission by the government’s top medical adviser that it failed to recognise the workplace circumstances that helped spread Covid-19 has been slammed by the union GMB. In evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee on 21 July, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said “we hadn’t recognised what in retrospect are obvious but were not recognised at the time... people who were working at multiple homes. People without sick leave etc.” However, GMB said it wrote to health secretary Matt Hancock on 29 March and to care minister Helen Whately several times to warn them about the dangerous of leaving people what the union said was ‘a perverse incentive’ to go into work sick or when they should be self-isolating. Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer, said: “We wrote to the health secretary raising concerns that social care had been excluded from initial PPE guidance, excluded from regular and universal testing and denied access to full pay should workers need to be off work. They can’t pretend they weren’t aware.” She added: “Common sense will tell you if people on already low wages are told they won’t get paid if they have to take time off sick or to self-isolate, they have no other option than to go into work ill and risk spreading the virus around. If ministers had read and responded to our warnings they would have known this. They could have acted to save many lives.” The GMB official concluded: “This government should be ashamed they have neglected the care sector since the start of this pandemic - to say now that they did not recognise the issues faced by the workforce is an absolute insult.”
GMB news release. The Times. ITV News.

Nearly half NHS workers were infected at Covid peak

Nearly half of NHS workers were infected with Covid during the peak of the pandemic, research suggests. Sir Paul Nurse, Francis Crick Institute director, told MPs that “up to 45 per cent” of healthcare workers were infected in April. But a lack of testing meant most cases went undetected as the majority were not displaying symptoms (asymptomatic). He told the Health and Social Care Committee on 21 July: "At the height of the pandemic, our own research, and of course that only backs up what's been done elsewhere, is that up to 45 per cent of healthcare workers were infected. And they were infecting their colleagues, they were infecting patients, yet they weren't been tested systematically.” He added: “My colleagues in the Crick contacted Downing Street in March, wrote to minister (Matt) Hancock in April, emphasising two main things. The importance of regular, systematic testing of all healthcare workers, including not only frontline doctors and nurses, support staff, ambulance drivers, other healthcare providers such as the care homes, GP surgeries, community nurses and the like. And these all needed to be tested.” Oxford University immunologist Sir John Bell accused the NHS of burying its head in the sand over testing. He said that hospitals were afraid of having to send staff home if they tested positive for Covid-19. Speaking to MPs, the government adviser said: “As time went on, there still wasn't a real push to do [screen for Covid] healthcare workers… there was a suspicion, which I think is probably correct, that NHS institutions and the NHS were avoiding testing their hospital workers because they were afraid they would find the kind of levels that Paul’s described [the Crick Institute’s estimate of 45 per cent infection], and they would have to send everyone home, and as a result not have a workforce. That in my view is not an ethical approach to the problem. You can't not test people because you're worried about a human resources issue.” Britain has one of the worst coronavirus death tolls among health and care workers - with at least 540 recorded fatalities, according to an Amnesty International report published on 14 July (Risks 956).
Francis Crick Institute news release. The Sun. Daily Mail. The Telegraph.
Catherine F Houlihan and others. Pandemic peak SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroconversion rates in London frontline health-care workers, The Lancet, Online First, 9 July 2020. DOI:

Call centre outbreak reinforces union engagement call

A Covid-19 outbreak linked to a Scottish call centre underlines the need for strong safety guidance and union engagement, STUC has said. The Scottish national union body was commenting after health officials said they were investigating an outbreak of coronavirus at an NHS test and trace call centre in North Lanarkshire. Sitel, which carries out contact tracing for the NHS, said it was aware of a “local outbreak” at its Motherwell site. NHS Lanarkshire said it was aware of a number of “potentially linked cases”. Sitel said it was “urgently investigating” the outbreak with Public Health Scotland. STUC deputy general secretary Dave Moxham said STUC had been pointing out for months that call centre and similar office environments present a high Covid health and safety risk (Risks 946). “Statements from Sitel workers suggesting social distancing was not maintained during breaks and in shared spaces is obviously a particular concern,” he said. “Research from Professor Phil Taylor of Strathclyde University has highlighted massive concerns from call centre staff during the period in which call centres remained open during lockdown [Risks 951]. We must ensure that current conditions, not to mention the conditions required for any further return to work. are rigorously monitored. This means strict Scottish government guidelines and full access for unions to ensure health and safety risk assessments are created in full consultation with workers.”
STUC news release. BBC News Online. Glasgow Live. The Guardian.
Call centre report, Professor Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde.

STUC welcomes renewed ‘fair work’ deal for Scotland

The STUC has welcomed the signing of a ‘refreshed’ statement on fair work principles including commitments from the Scottish government, business groups, trades unions and leaders from local government and the third sector to put fair work at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery. Organisations including STUC, the Institute of Directors (IoD), SCDI, COSLA and SCVO have signed a statement supporting the collaboration. Fair work minister Jamie Hepburn said: “In March we published a statement of Fair Work Principles, setting out our high expectation for keeping fair work at the heart of our national response to Covid-19 during lockdown. Now, as these restrictions continue to ease, we must maintain the momentum we have started to build, ensuring collaboration between workers, employers, representative groups and trades unions.” Roz Foyer, STUC general secretary, said: “We have worked hard to push governments for the protection of jobs and pay during the crisis. There is no doubt that our previous agreement with the Scottish government on Fair Work Principles has been a major factor in keeping workers safe during this crisis.” She added: “This refreshed statement, which anticipates a continuing and careful return to work, now has support from employer representatives and we hope this will provide the basis for building back fairer. We need to see fair work for everyone in Scotland and to build workplaces that were free of exploitation and in which workers’ voice is heard.”
STUC news release. Scottish government news release. Glasgow Live.
Revised Fair Work Statement and Fair Work Convention website.

PCS prioritises safety at under pressure passport offices

Civil service union PCS has said the safety of its members must be the ‘primary concern’ as pressure builds to deal with lengthy delays in processing passport applications. The union said small and often cramped offices mean social distancing is difficult to observe and as a result Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) is struggling to get its 4,000 staff members back into the workplace. Ministers lifted the ban on non-essential travel to 70 popular destinations earlier this month, in a bid to stimulate travel abroad as part of efforts to revitalise the sector. However PCS said it has been clear that its five tests must be met before there can be a safe return to work. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Where Covid-19 is still not under control, it would be unsafe for our members to return to work. Staff who are at work are flat out trying to ensure that passports are processed as quickly as possible. However the safety of our members is our primary concern.” The PCS leader added: "We are demanding proper health and safety risk assessments are carried out before members should return to the workplace. The union has also suggested mandatory temperature checks for staff returning to work but HMPO have refused.” He said: “We have reports that the HMPO is looking to keep offices open till 10pm to allow a skeleton staff to fulfil their hours. HMPO has already shown it sees members’ safety as secondary to getting routine work done and this is not acceptable.”
PCS news release.

Dip and deli food processor in work virus cluster

All workers at a food processing plant in south Wales are to be tested for coronavirus after four people associated with the factory tested positive for Covid-19. Public Health Wales (PHW) said it was investigating the cause of the confirmed cases associated with Zorba Delicacies, which produces dips, deli fillers and soups. It said “widespread, rapid testing of the workforce” would be undertaken “as a precautionary measure.” The company in Ebbw Vale employs about 490 people and supplies major supermarket chains. PHW communicable disease control consultant Dr Rhianwen Stiff said: “Close contacts of confirmed cases have been contacted through the test, trace, protect process and provided with additional advice for themselves, household and other contacts.” She added: “As we move into the recovery phase of the coronavirus pandemic, we expect to see clusters in settings such as workplaces.” Last month Welsh authorities reported 634 confirmed Covid-19 cases at food factories in Llangefni, Wrexham and Merthyr Tydfil.
South Wales Argus. Wales Online. BBC News Online. The Mirror.

Government 'must stop garment worker exploitation'

More than 50 MPs and peers have written to the home secretary urging her to do more to protect UK garment factory workers from exploitation. It follows reports of staff at factories in Leicester being underpaid and unprotected from Covid-19. The letter - which was also signed by investors, charities and retailers such as Asda and Asos - said concerns around unethical use of labour in the UK's garment industry had been raised “multiple times” in the last five years by academics, retailers and MPs, but little had been done. It said “thousands more” could be exploited without stronger government action. “The public want to know that the clothes they buy have been made by workers who are respected, valued and protected by the law,” said Helen Dickinson OBE, boss of the British Retail Consortium, which coordinated the letter. The letter urged home secretary Priti Patel to bring in a new licensing scheme for garment factories to protect workers from forced labour, debt bondage and mistreatment, as well as ensuring the payment of the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. It would also prevent rogue businesses from undercutting compliant manufacturers and encourage retailers to source their clothing from the UK, supporting the development of an “ethical, world-leading industry.” The National Crime Agency has also confirmed it is investigating Leicester's textile industry over allegations of exploitation. Minister for safeguarding, Victoria Atkins, said: “We expect all companies implicated in these allegations to conduct a full and thorough investigation to ensure that their supply chains are free from labour exploitation. We have liaised with relevant agencies regarding alleged working practices at garment factories in Leicester.” Campaigners have warned this isn’t just a Leicester problem. “Exactly the same labour abuses that the government and brands are professing shock and horror over in Leicester are happening at scale across the country,” said Emily Kenway, a senior adviser at Focus on Labour Exploitation (Flex), a signatory to the letter. “It’s not just garments. In the construction sector in London we found a huge amount of abuse, underpayment of wages, verbal and physical intimidation. We know migrant cleaners are having their rights abused. The list goes on.”
BRC news release and joint letter. BBC News Online. The Guardian.

Boohoo calls for licensing scheme for textile factories

Scandal-hit retailer Boohoo has called on the UK government to introduce a licensing scheme to ensure textile factories are fit to trade. The move comes after allegations of malpractice by the online fashion group’s suppliers. In a letter to Priti Patel, John Lyttle, the chief executive of Boohoo, said a “joint effort between industry and government” was required to revamp the UK garment industry and “provide an incentive for retailers and brands to invest.” Patel, the home secretary, is reportedly considering new laws on modern slavery because of fears that the existing legislation is not working. Boohoo said a licensing scheme would raise tax and “create a barrier that prevents rogue businesses from accessing the market and undercutting legitimate fashion manufacturing companies, creating a level playing field for businesses to compete fairly.” He said the scheme should cover protection of workers from forced labour, debt bondage and mistreatment, ensuring payment of national minimum wage, VAT, PAYE, national insurance, holiday pay and health and safety. The letter follows weeks of pressure on Boohoo after allegations of malpractice in its supply chain. Szilvia Bor and Simon Irwin, retail analysts at investment bank Credit Suisse, estimate that as much as 7 per cent of Boohoo’s production is undertaken by unmonitored subcontractors in the UK. These factories, many of which are based in Leicester, are at the heart of allegations of malpractice in Boohoo’s supply chain. The company makes more than 40 per cent of its goods in the UK, most of which come from Leicester. Following the allegations of malpractice and a dive in its share price, Boohoo launched an independent review of its supply chain. The terms of the investigation are expected to be published by the end of July.
The Guardian. Evening Standard.

Stress-out Covid nurses told 'lives would be made hell'

Hospital nurses were told their “lives would be made hell” if they complained over conditions on a coronavirus ward, UNISON has said. The union has raised a group grievance for 36 employees, most of them nurses, at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust. It said staff on the Queen's Medical Centre ward were not trained properly, faced bullying for raising concerns and were denied personal protective equipment (PPE) “as punishment.” UNISON said the staff, which included nurses, senior nurses and healthcare assistants, volunteered to work on the hospital’s only ward dealing with end-of-life coronavirus patients. It claimed they were not given any specialist training or counselling for dealing with unprecedented numbers of dying patients and their grieving relatives. UNISON’s Dave Ratchford said staff were unprepared for dealing with such high frequency of death and should have had access to psychological support. He said after the team raised concerns, management was “hostile” and locked away PPE “as punishment.” One worker said a board with everyone's record of sickness was put on display in a break room to intimidate staff. “This is absolutely shocking stuff,” said Ratchford. “We're talking about a very high-performing team who fell foul of a culture that permits bullying and fails to address it. Staff were told their lives would be made hell for complaining.” Dr Neil Pease, for the trust, said he was “disappointed” to hear about the concerns and added: “Bullying and harassment are not tolerated in our organisation.”
BBC News Online. ITV News.

More talks needed on Scottish schools return

Teaching union EIS has welcomed the publication of the scientific advice on how schools in Scotland might reopen, but has said ‘significant discussion’ is still needed around actual practical guidelines. EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said, “The EIS had called for transparency around the scientific evidence on schools so the publication of these reports is welcome. It should be noted that the advice is contingent upon continued suppression of the virus. That shouldn't be taken as a given. The recent experience of Israel, where levels of infection have soared again following the removal of mitigations, is a stark reminder that the virus remains a threat.” Flanagan added: “The reports highlight the importance of significant mitigations being operational in schools. The EIS will engage in discussion as to what these should be. Proactive testing of school communities is certainly one measure which should be in place and we also think that more should be done around senior pupils, who are young adults rather than children.” The EIS leader said it was “equally critical” the schools received the extra resources necessary “to support the educational recovery” of pupils. “We need more teachers and more support staff,” he said. “Current efforts by both the Scottish government and local government is falling short of what is needed.”
EIS news release. Advice from COVID Advisory Sub-Group on School transport and Social distancing.

Belly Mujinga petition smashes 2m signature mark

Rail union TSSA has described as ‘incredible’ news that the petition calling for 'Justice for Belly Mujinga' has now garnered more than two million signatures. Belly was employed by Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) as a ticket office clerk at London’s Victoria station. The TSSA member died of Covid-19 in April after being redeployed to the concourse despite having an existing respiratory condition. TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We have seen an incredible response from the British public over Belly’s death. Two million signatures just goes to show how deeply Belly’s tragic death touched the nation - I want to thank every single one of you who answered the call for justice and signed the petition.” He added: “Serious questions remain about the circumstances leading to Belly’s death, namely why her employer decided that she should be working directly with passenger flow at Victoria Station, at all, never mind without adequate personal protective equipment in the midst of a pandemic. Belly’s story has helped highlight the risk of Covid-19 to BAME and other transport workers. Our union is continuing to push hard for risk assessments to take into account the ethnic background of workers, so that proper protections can be put in place.” The union leader said: “We are also calling on Boris Johnson to change the regulations so that the National Health Service (NHS) Coronavirus compensation scheme is extended to transport workers.”
TSSA news release.

Help build a database of coronavirus risk assessments

The TUC is collating the risk assessments published by employers as they start to open again after lockdown. The TUC said its aim is to support a safe return by increasing transparency about how safety is being addressed in each sector and to pressure non-compliant employers to conduct the proper risk assessments and publish them online. “You can help by checking out your own employer or others in your sector, and entering them into the database at”, the TUC said.
COVID Secure Check portal.


Get your essential TUC guide to Hazards at Work

The 6th edition of TUC’s best-selling Hazards at Work guide is the best single source on health and safety, union style. The revised new edition is packed with advice on health and safety laws and good practice at work. It covers all the classic hazards and has new Covid-19 related advice and reworked chapters on mental health, bullying, harassment, and all the other modern workplace causes of illness and injury. It also has extensive checklists, case studies and links to online resources.
Reps, unions, employers can order online from the TUC shop. Single copies, £22. For large orders, email the TUC.


Australia: Work linked to 4-in-5 new coronavirus cases

As New South Wales and Victoria face rising numbers of coronavirus cases, there are growing calls for Australia’s federal government to do more to protect workers. On 19 July, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged the state’s spike could largely be traced back to spread between employees. “About 80 per cent of our new cases since May are being driven by transmission in workplaces,” he told media, as he revealed the state had seen 363 new cases of Covid-19 and two related deaths in the last 24 hours. In a statement, Victorian workplace safety minister Jill Hennessy said workplace inspectors would target high risk workplaces. “This inspection blitz will identify any workplaces who are not meeting the high standards necessary to keep their employees safe,” the statement said. “There is no room to cut corners or be complacent. Workplaces need to take every step possible to maintain safe workplaces and prevent or limit the spread of coronavirus.” To combat high workplace transmission, Australia’s unions are calling for paid pandemic leave. “The prime minister must act immediately to provide paid pandemic leave for all workers or risk losing control of the spread of Covid-19 nationwide,” said Gerard Dwyer, national secretary of the shop and distribution union SDA. “The absence of access to paid pandemic leave for nearly 50 per cent of the national workforce is an invitation to disaster.” Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary Sally McManus said: “We may be living with this pandemic for a long time. This means we need to change our attitudes and temporarily change our laws.” She added: “Paid pandemic leave costs are a drop in the ocean compared to ongoing lockdowns.” However, unions say the federal government has so far appeared unwilling to even entertain the idea of pandemic leave.
Victorian state government news release. Business Insider. Daily Mail.

Global: Stop sending toxic chemicals to poor nations – UN expert

The practice of wealthy states exporting their banned toxic chemicals to poorer nations lacking the capacity to control the risks is deplorable and must end, a United Nations expert has said. The comments by the UN special rapporteur on toxics, Baskut Tuncak, were endorsed by 35 other experts from the Human Rights Council. Last year, at least 30 states exported hazardous substances that had been banned locally because of health and environmental reasons to Latin America, Africa and Asia. Tuncak said that wealthier nations often create double standards that allow the trade and use of prohibited substances in parts of the world where regulations are less stringent, externalising the health and environmental impacts on the most vulnerable. The ‘racialised nature’ of these standards cannot be ignored, he said, as the dangers are externalised to communities of African descent and other people of colour – a grave concern he said also exists internally in exporting countries with respect to the siting of polluting industries and dumping of hazardous waste. “In nearly every case there is no legitimate public interest justification,” Tuncak said. “These loopholes are a political concession to industry, allowing their chemical manufacturers to profit from inevitably poisoned workers and communities abroad, all the while importing cheaper products through global supply chains and fuelling unsustainable consumption and production patterns. It is long-overdue that states stop this exploitation.” In reports from Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, the special rapporteur highlighted dangers posed by the export of toxic chemicals. “States exporting banned chemicals without a strong public interest justification are in violation of their extraterritorial obligations under international human rights law, including their obligations relating to a healthy environment and safe and healthy working conditions,” Tuncak said. “Failing to address this longstanding exploitation is discrimination, pure and simple.”
OHCHR news release.

USA: Congress urged to slow meat plant line speeds

The US foodworkers’ union UFCW has called on Congress to pass immediately the Safe Line Speeds in Covid-19 Act. The measure, introduced in the House of Representatives, would mandate a reduction in the dangerously fast line speeds which have made many meatpacking plants coronavirus hotspots. “Congress must pass this vital legislation immediately,” said UFCW president Marc Peronne. “This bill is a critical step to reining in the dangerously fast line speeds at so many meatpacking plants and will put the safety of workers and our country's food supply first.” The union criticised the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which it says “has repeatedly attempted to remove line speed limits in pork and poultry plants, increasing the risk to both workers and food safety. Even as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens the country's food supply chain, the USDA has continued to grant waivers that allow plants to run faster and endanger more workers.” Representative Rosa DeLauro, one of the legislators who introduced the bill in Congress, said: “The high profile Covid-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants have raised questions of the safety of the conditions inside these plants. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, these workers experienced injuries at a higher rate than comparable occupations. And now, faster line speeds make it impossible for workers to practice social distancing and to comply with safety guidelines.”
IUF news release.

USA: Amazon employees track Covid-19 outbreaks

Jana Jumpp spends eight hours a day updating a spreadsheet - not for work, but to figure out how many of Amazon's 400,000 warehouse workers have fallen sick with the coronavirus. Amazon won't give a number, so Jumpp tracks it on her own and shares what she finds with others. She relies on Amazon employees at more than 250 facilities who call, text or send her Facebook messages with possible cases. She asks for proof, like messages or voicemails from Amazon, and tries to make sure she doesn't count the same case twice. “Amazon is not going to do it, so it's up to us,” said Jumpp, 58, who lost her job in July at an Amazon warehouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana, after she went on leave for fear of contracting the coronavirus and ran out of paid time off. Unions and advocate groups have taken up the cause, too, creating lists or building online maps of stores where workers can self-report cases they know about. Marc Perrone, the president of the union UFCW which represents grocery and meatpacking workers, called it “stunning” that this many months into the pandemic “some of America's largest companies still refuse to release this information.” US companies have no legal obligation to reveal publicly how many of their workers have contracted the virus, and few are doing so. In the absence of full transparency, the UFCW has asked local unions to keep record of members who have got sick or died. According to its count, more than 25,000 people have been infected or exposed to the virus at supermarkets and meatpacking plants; roughly 150 have died. United for Respect, a labour group, collects anonymous reports from Walmart and Amazon workers through a new website. So far, they have received reports of more than 800 cases at Walmart and more than 1,760 at Amazon warehouses, though the group has only been able to independently verify a fraction of the cases.
New York Times. CTV News. WFMJ News. United for Respect.


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