On Monday 30th August, three workers at Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics Erskine Park facility tested positive for Covid-19. Since then a total of 11 workers have tested positive for the disease, with many more identified as close contacts by NSW Health and instructed to isolate for 14 days.
Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics is one of the largest cold storage logistics companies in Australia, supplying all major supermarkets such as Woolworths, Coles, IGA and ALDI.
Some workers have already passed on the infection to their families, with household contacts including children testing positive to the virus. The Erskine Park facility is in the Penrith LGA.
Workers walked off the job on Monday, 6th September after raising concerns that Scott’s was in breach of its Covid Safe plan. One worker seen in physical contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 was instructed by Scott’s to continue working on site, loading food and groceries instead of isolating. Other breaches of the Covid Safe plan include instructing workers from other areas to work on the dock, compromising the larger worksite by exposing workers from different sections, and workers instructed to continue shifts despite being unwell.
UWU members are refusing to return to work until Scott’s takes its Covid response seriously. This is the third time in the past 18 months that UWU members have raised safety concerns about exposure to Covid-19 at work.
“Workers here are really concerned about our health and safety. We don’t want to bring Covid home to our families, I’ve got kids you know. It feels like the company is putting profit before people.” – Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics worker who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal
Quotes attributable to: Sam Roberts, Logistics Director, United Workers Union
“It is completely unacceptable that workers and their families are being exposed to infection by a company not interested in their safety or the safety of the food products they deliver.
“These workers are stocking food and supplies for NSW communities, and are being repeatedly put at risk by preventable exposure. They’ve had enough.
“UWU members demand that Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics takes all necessary measures to protect workers and the community from infection. This means working with UWU representatives and Health and Safety Reps to ensure that Covid Safe plans are followed, involving workers in discussions with NSW Health, and providing proper pandemic leave that covers their full period of isolation.
“Scott’s has put workers and the larger community at risk. It’s time they were held accountable.”
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