Usdaw, the trade union for Boohoo workers, condemned the online retailer for selling face masks as a fashion item and the company has withdrawn them. The union continues to raise staff complaints about inadequate personal protection equipment (PPE) and working practices that don’t ensure necessary social distancing at the Burnley warehouse.
Mike Aylward, Usdaw Divisional Officer says:
“Boohoo have rightly u-turned on their highly inappropriate and useless face masks, after healthcare workers and Usdaw expressed
their disgust at the attempt to profit from a national crisis. We now need the company to u-turn on their opposition to staff being represented by a trade union.
“We need to get round the table with managers to sort out a long list of serious concerns from our members about their health and safety during the Coronavirus outbreak. They are terrified they may become infected with coronavirus and put their loved ones at risk.
“We also call on the Government to review their advice to online non-essential retailers. Their contradictory advice encourages online retailers like Boohoo to carry on regardless, while telling non-essential workers to stay at home. They have failed to understand that online retailing has to be fulfilled by thousands of warehouse workers and delivery drivers.
“We repeat our call on Boohoo close the warehouse for the safety of their employees and their families. Do the right thing by furloughing workers, under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and to top up the 80% grant so that staff continue to receive their full wages as normal.”
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.