1,000 signatures reached
To: Guy Dullage, Chief People Officer, Greencore
Greencore: Guarantee full pay for your self-isolating workers!
Please email Greencore and call on them to stand by their staff who have been hit by the Covid-19 outbreak at their plant. They should commit to paying all self-isolating workers at their full regular pay rate, and not drop to the £95/week minimum rate after this month. Don’t punish staff for doing the right thing and staying away to keep everyone safe.
Why is this important?
At Greencore Northampton, we make sandwiches and meals for Marks & Spencer. And last month, we became the site of one of the UK’s largest outbreaks of Covid-19. It has been a terrifying time, with over 300 staff testing positive for the virus and many being severely ill.
Not only did we have to deal with illness and worry for the health of our loved ones, but for the hundreds forced to isolate, we saw a drastic drop in earnings to just £95 a week and huge financial uncertainty. This is because Greencore initially refused to pay more than the legal minimum of Statutory Sick Pay. After our union spoke up, they put in a temporary increase to 80% pay. But isolation pay goes back to just £95 a week from next month – though we know the pandemic will be with us for way longer than that.
£95 a week simply isn’t enough to live on, and it will only make dealing with the outbreak harder as we go into the autumn and a possible second wave. We've all been living with financial hardship for months now in any case, as Greencore also refused to top up the government's 80% furlough pay. Many of us have effectively been paid below the minimum wage for our regular hours for months.
We’re caught in the middle between wanting to do the right thing, follow government guidance and protect ourselves and our communities, and the fact that we simply can’t afford not to work.
It’s not impossible to solve. Rival firm Greggs have agreed with the union, BFAWU, to pay isolating staff in full. They’ve put this into effect quickly, helping them close down an outbreak in Leeds before it could become severe. It kept their community safe and their staff’s livelihoods secure. If Greggs can do this then Greencore, with their healthy profit level, should be able to.
Can you help us demand change from our bosses at Greencore? Through our union we’re demanding fair pay for all staff forced to isolate, now and into the future. Please add your voice by emailing Greencore now.
If we can fix this at Greencore, we can also increase the pressure on bosses everywhere to do the decent thing by their staff if Covid-19 hits their workplaces. And we can reduce the number of serious outbreaks so that other workers don’t have to go through what we have.