Angry postal staff staged a walkout after bosses failed to clean the workstation of a worker who was hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms.
Staff at a Royal Mail sorting office in Greenock, Inverclyde, raised their grievances after a worker fell ill in work between last Thursday and Saturday and was subsequently hospitalised.
A source said despite colleagues expressing their worries about the employee’s health, nothing was done by management and the worker continued to handle hundreds of parcels to be delivered.
Workers arrived at the sorting office on Monday morning to find out that their colleague had been admitted to hospital, yet they were expected to carry on as normal.
They immediately walked out while representatives from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) met with bosses.
Speaking to the Greenock Telegraph, a source said: “They actually had people working where the ill employee had been.
“Three separate individuals approached management last week and highlighted that they were not happy with the situation but management chose to ignore concerns.
‘We’ve said they’re not going back until it has been sorted and social distancing measures are put in place.’A source
“Managers have done nothing about it and are refusing to clean any of their stuff.
“We’ve said they’re not going back until it has been sorted and social distancing measures are put in place.
“The managers didn’t want to make any decisions.
“They’re putting the health and safety of staff at risk.
“We’re classed as key workers and we don’t mind helping people at this time.
“People are really not happy about what happened.
“It’s a very bad situation.”
Another worker said: “The guys in there are working back-to-back and side-by-side.
“We’re not sure if the person in hospital has the virus but everyone is understandably very worried indeed.
“All they have asked for is for his frame [workstation] to be deep cleaned and they were told to come in to work anyway and it would be done tomorrow.
“It’s just not good enough.
“Everyone is scared and they feel very vulnerable right now.”
Following talks with Royal Mail management on Monday afternoon, Jim McKechnie, branch secretary for CWU Glasgow, said that steps had been taken to address the situation.
Mr McKechnie said: “Measures will be taken within the office to make sure there are no underlying health and hygiene issues.
“There will be a deep clean and two metre spacing will be enforced.
“The shift pattern will also change to ensure staff don’t bump into each other.”
Discussions between the CWU, members and the Royal Mail are set to continue.
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “There was a disruption to service on Monday morning at Inverclyde delivery office.
“We are working with our people to resolve any areas of concern.
“A deep clean of the office is taking place today.
“Royal Mail takes the health and safety of its colleagues, its customers and the local communities in which we operate very seriously.”