| 1.4°C Dublin

Industry body says clusters at factories aren't its fault


Stock image.

Stock image.

Stock image.

Meat plants will tell TDs today that they are not breeding grounds for the coronavirus, but have instead had it thrust upon them from the community.

Meat Industry Ireland (MII), representing primary processing companies, insists that the reason there have been outbreaks in meat plants is because they were deemed essential services and told to remain open during lockdown.

People who became infected on the outside then came to work as usual, causing Covid-19 outbreaks to be associated in the public mind with processing plants, the MII will tell the Dáil's committee on the coronavirus.

An opening statement says: "The meat sector was designated by government as an essential service because it performed services that were deemed necessary for society. As such, the sector continued to operate while most other non-essential manufacturing sectors were closed.

"As we know, Covid-19 travels through communities into industrial settings, rather than vice versa. As manufacturing settings are locations where large numbers of people congregate, they provide the potential for the virus to spread, reflecting the dynamic between community and workplace."

Separately, the country's largest union will question why health and safety inspectors did not begin inspections at meat plants until late May.

Siptu will also tell the Dáil committee it is aware that over 40 migrant meat-plant workers are sharing rooms or accommodation in a town in Offaly.

The union will call for this type of "hot-bedding" of workers to stop.

Siptu will tell politicians that there are very few if any unannounced inspections by health and safety inspectors.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

Related Content

Most Watched