Six Meat Plant Workers Hospitalised With Covid, Two More Outbreaks At Plants

Press Statement: Paul Murphy TD (People Before Profit) 26 March 2021

  • Six meat plant workers hospitalised with Covid, as two more outbreaks
  • Open Covid outbreaks in 27 of the 56 meat plants – yet still no sick pay for meat workers
  • PBP to bring bill to require sick pay is provided to meat workers

The latest HPSC report on workplace Covid outbreaks shows a further two outbreaks in meat plants with six meat factory workers hospitalised with Covid in the week leading up to March 20th. There are currently 27 open outbreaks of Covid across the 56 meat factories, meaning that almost half of all meat plants have an ongoing outbreak.

This news comes as People Before Profit are preparing to launch a Bill which would begin to address the lack of sick pay for meat factory workers. Despite repeated calls from NPHET and others, it is still reported by SIPTU that 90% of meat factory workers have no sick pay, meaning many with Covid symptoms simply cannot afford to miss work.

Commenting on the latest figures, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said:

“For months now workers, trade unionists and PBP TDs have been sounding the alarm about the ongoing outbreaks of Covid in the meat plants.  Yet the government has continued to turn a blind eye as the beef barons refuse to provide sick pay. Half the plants have outbreaks, there have been over a thousand cases in these plants in recent months, and now we have six meat factory workers hospitalised. What will it take to get the government to intervene?

“Over the last while People Before Profit have been working with others to produce a bill which would begin to address the issue of sick pay for these workers. We are planning to launch the bill shortly.”

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