People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has contacted the Health and Safety Authority as well as several Ministers urging an immediate on site inspection in relation to a reported outbreak and cluster of Covid cases in a large Clondalkin meat plant.
It is believed the plant is connected to a large Irish retailer.
The TD took the steps following reports that a large number of workers had contacted Covid 19 but that the plant remained operational.
Speaking today the TD said: “I am asking the HSA to send inspectors immediately to the facility and to verify the numbers of workers affected and whether the plant should in such circumstance remain operating. My chief concern here is the welfare of the workers as we know that in similar facilities around the country such outbreaks where not dealt with in a timely fashion while many workers in this industry still have no access to a proper sick pay scheme that would allow them take the steps needed to ensure their own and others health and safety is safeguarded.”
The TD added that the current high levels of infections circulating the community made this all the more urgent and he was extremely concerned that previous outbreaks at meat processing plants in Ireland and internationally were tied to clusters in nearby communities.
He said: “I’m asking both Ministers Varadkar and Donnelly to act quickly in this case. We need to assure all workers that their health, safety and security of employment will be safeguarded during this time and we need to assure the community that when outbreaks happen the regulatory authority can act quickly and if needs be close such facilities on public health grounds. We also need to know if the State authorities have been notified of this outbreak and the proportion of the workforce affected. Internationally this industry has been at the center of many clusters and serious questions remain about the industries priorities in relation to workers health and safety during this pandemic as well as ongoing issues over pay and conditions in general.”