XPO Logistics has said “all appropriate health and safety measures are being put in place” at its Milton Keynes warehouse after the GMB called for greater protections for staff.
GMB London had urged XPO Logistics to radically revise working in Milton Keynes warehouses to comply with social distancing and if this is not possible, to entirely shut down operations owing to the ongoing health crisis.
In response, a representative from XPO Logistics said: “We’re supporting our colleagues by adhering to UK government and Public Health England guidance. As the situation evolves, all appropriate health and safety measures are being put in place, alongside regular two-way communication, which ensures staff are kept informed and we’re listening to any concerns they may have.”
Richard Owen, GMB regional officer, said “Although some measures of social distancing have been introduced in communal areas some workers are being forced to work in close proximity to each other within the restrictive confines of the picking areas. This clearly runs counter to the government’s strictures around social distancing.
“Yesterday I wrote to the company, expressing dismay at the company’s continuing commitment to keeping the warehouses running while not complying with the social distancing requirements.”
He continues: “Of course, I understand the company has a commitment to making money, but surely there has to come a point when common sense, and an appreciation of the bigger picture, i.e, public health has to be everyone’s priority.
“We rightly frown at people congregating in parks and indeed, up mountains, and some are willing to countenance companies risking lives, (potentially many lives) by insisting that workers continue to move themselves, and the virus, around so that we can continue to distribute cosmetics and training shoes.
“So unless these operations can be made to effectively comply with social distancing recommendations, – XPO needs to get their heads out from wherever they have them at the moment, and let our members stay at home, and protect themselves and the rest of society from this appalling threat.”