WORKERS at the McVities factory in Tollcross are scared of catching the coronavirus while on duty, a union has claimed.

The GMB says almost 91 per cent of staff who responded to their survey are afraid of getting the virus while at work and under 10 per cent feel management are taking health and safety concerns seriously.

A union organiser described a £40 per week 'exceptional service recognition award' offered to workers by the company as a bribe.

But McVities' parent company Pladis says the scheme is a thank you to staff and their safety is the "top priority".

READ MORE: Thousands of protective equipment donated to Glasgow workers - but more still needed

Almost 90 per cent of workers who were sent the survey by the union, which has 330 members in the workplace, responded.

Over 80 per cent of respondents said social distancing measures were not being enforced at the factory.

The union said some staff had felt intimidated and had been told if the site closed then it would never reopen.

"Rather than bribing workers to compromise their own safety and that of their families, Pladis should be working with GMB reps to evaluate whether it is possible to safely continue production," GMB organiser David Hume said.

"This should be based on the Scottish Government’s guidance with regards to social distancing, which states people must be able to keep a safe distance of two metres from colleagues.

"This is proving difficult right across the Scottish manufacturing sector, where workplaces like Pladis’ Tollcross site have significant numbers of workers operating in close proximity on production lines, but ultimately there can be no exceptions if we are to stop the spread of the virus and keep workers safe."

He added: "Pladis workers told us that the Board of Directors had written to all staff thanking them for making it possible for NHS nurses to have a biscuit with their cups of tea.

"I’m certain that NHS nurses would be more grateful if employers took some of the immense pressure off the health service by enforcing public health guidelines that are there to keep everyone safe."

However, a Pladis spokesman said the company did not recognise the GMB's claims.

"Our factory manager spent two hours on the factory floor with members of the GMB going through the social distancing measures to keep our people safe. These were well received and no such concerns were raised," he said.

"The health and safety of our colleagues is our top priority, and we are taking unprecedented precautions to ensure this.

READ MORE: Refuse workers vow to suspend Govanhill collections amid social distancing fears

"We have implemented strict social distancing and hygiene protocols in line with government guidance, and we will continue to follow this closely in relation to COVID-19 to protect our colleagues.

"Those who are working in food manufacturing and distribution are rightly recognised by the government as key workers, and now more than ever it is vital that food and drink manufacturers around the country can maintain production to keep food on shelves and to continue feeding the nation.

"These are unprecedented times and we are hugely grateful for the commitment and dedication of our colleagues.

"They have been flexible in adapting to the necessary changes while continuing to work hard every day, and that’s why we have created an exceptional service award – as a thank you to our colleagues."