WORKERS at a Glasgow recycling centre were forced to call in union bosses over concerns about coronavirus protection. 

Staff at Blochairn Recycling Centre claim Glasgow City Council chiefs ignored repeated demands for hand sanitiser and face masks, despite the outbreak of Covid-19. 

It’s understood some even refused to show up for work due to their concerns. 

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The partner of one staff member, who asked not to be named, told The Glasgow Times: “They have been working without any hand sanitiser and without any masks or anything in the recycling centre.

“They’re also all in the one canteen and it’s tiny and all crammed in without any space.

“They’ve all been scared to speak up. Some of them went back in on Monday and asked for what they needed but nothing seemed to change.

“I’m just really angry that he was having to work in that and I don’t think it’s right.” 

The Glasgow Times understands however that the council has been staggering breaks taken by staff at the facility to reduce the number of people in the canteen at the one time. 

On Thursday, representatives from GMB Scotland met with Glasgow City Council bosses to raise the fears of workers at Blochairn. 

The union now says it has reached an agreement with the local authority and steps are being taken to address workers’ worries. 

A spokesperson for GMB Scotland said: “The safety concerns affecting staff are now being addressed following consultation with service management. 

“Safe working guidelines and practices are being applied and we will continue to monitor this moving forward to ensure our members are as safe as possible at their work.” 

Responding to the concerns, a spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “It simply isn’t true to say we aren’t taking steps to protect our cleansing staff during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We fully recognise our cleansing staff have a vital role and we are doing everything we can to ensure their safety as they go about their work.

“We are already following the latest waste industry safety guidance and we are in daily contact with the trade unions on how to protect staff health and well-being.

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“All necessary protective clothing is fully available and there is absolutely no need for staff to wear their own clothing.

“We have been producing our own supplies of hand sanitiser and have robust procedures in place to allow staff to keep hands clean, although staff are expected to wear gloves in the course of their duties.

“Staff safety is a top priority and we will continue to work closely with staff and union reps to ensure the health of our cleansing teams is protected at this highly challenging time.”

“In relation to Blochairn, the site manager met with the union rep on Thursday who agreed that the processes in place meet with the industry guidance and all team members were reminded of the controls and procedures in place to protect them.”


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