WORKFORCES at three of Inverclyde's largest employers are seething at being asked to work on despite stay-at-home government advice.

Staff at Amazon, EE and Diodes say their workplaces are operating as normal despite the coronavirus restrictions, with many employees concerned that social distancing measures are not being adhered to.

In EE's call centre on Greenock's Main Street, desks remain positioned closely together and staff say they have not been provided with gloves and that the canteen remains open for business.

One employee told our sister title the Greenock Telegraph: "Staff here work closely to each other. When people need help on calls, managers are still expected to lean over their shoulders to assist.

"We do operate telecommunications for the emergency services, so I understand why those departments need to remain open.

"But, the sales and upgrades teams are still in as normal upselling home broadband amongst other things.

"These jobs are totally unnecessary and cannot be considered as being specifications of a 'key worker'."

Canteen staff in the call centre have taken it upon themselves to comply with government advice, implementing social distancing measures which everyone is adhering to.

One worker who complained said: "I’m an asthma sufferer and work in one of your call centres but I’m expected to stay in work until I catch something and display symptoms."

Bosses at EE have defended their stance to carry on as normal at their Cartsburn base.

A spokesperson said “At this critical time, our people play a vital role in keeping our customers connected. We’re asking our amazing colleagues to come in to our contact centres if they’re healthy and able to do so. If they aren’t healthy, or are having to isolate, we’re paying them in full.

"We’re doing everything we can to protect our people at all our sites.

"We have significantly increased cleaning services in our buildings while also asking our colleagues to remain vigilant and to protect themselves by strictly following personal hygiene measures.

"We‘re implementing social distancing within our call centres and when needed we’ve asked our people to stagger shift start times in order to achieve this.

"We’re reviewing and changing our policies to reflect individual circumstances and any changes in government advice."

Meanwhile at Amazon's Faulds Park site in Gourock, staff are unhappy they have been told to come in as normal.

The Tele was told about one worker who has a relative with an underlying health issue but had been asked to carry on.

An Amazon spokesperson said: "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can — delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them.

"We implemented proactive measures at all of our facilities to protect our people, including increased cleaning, and maintaining social distance, including between drivers and customers when making deliveries.

"The health of our people is our top priority, and it’s important to us that they remain home if they’re sick or if they or someone in their home has had a fever in the last 24 hours.

"To support our people during this time we have increased entitlement to paid time off and are enabling people to take leaves of absence as appropriate."

Meanwhile staff at Diodes in Greenock are calling upon managing director Gerry McCarthy, pictured, to close the doors of the electronics plant, saying they are 'clearly not a vital service'.

Some staff have already been permitted to work at home but with many of the jobs at the plant unable to be completed remotely it remains open for business and there appears to be no plan to cease production.

When the Telegraph contacted the Diodes base in Greenock we were told nobody could answer our questions.

We also received no response from an enquiry to the company press office.

A Diodes staff member said: "It's scandalous. There are areas where there are up to 40 of us working closely to each other and we are making products that are not essential.

"Many folk are now so worried about not complying to social distancing measures that they're just calling in to say they're self-isolating.

"There's going to be nobody left working soon."

As well as contacting the Greenock Telegraph, employees from the three companies, and others, have been in touch with Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan to ask for assistance.

Mr Cowan said said: "I am working to see what I can do locally to assist those workers who are being pressured to come in despite the company not being crucial to resolving the COVID-19 pandemic."