Mainline Menswear warehouse in Scarborough told to 'operate safely or close' by union Usdaw

The Mainline Menswear warehouse in Scarborough has been told to operate safely or close by retail trade union Usdaw.

By Corinne Macdonald
Friday, 3rd April 2020, 1:06 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 1:08 pm

Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) has issued a statement calling on Mainline Menswear to operate their warehouse safely to restrict the spread of coronavirus and to not bring forward a sale to generate extra business.

Mainline say the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers remain their top priority.

Jayne Allport, Usdaw Area Organiser, said: “I was contacted by a member at the Mainline Menswear online fulfilment warehouse in Scarborough.

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"I was told that the company has brought forward a sale that was scheduled for July in order to generate more sales, but have not put any measures in place to minimise the risk to its 50-60 warehouse staff. No hand sanitiser, only washing up liquid in the washroom, no social distancing and no limit to staff using the small rest area.

“The company is not only endangering their employees, they are adding to the risk of spread of coronavirus in the wider Scarborough community. We are urging management to take their responsibilities seriously.”

A spokesman for Mainline responded to the claims, saying: "As a local company employing local people our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers during this very difficult time.

“Mainline Menswear continues to observe all of the latest Government guidelines for businesses, with the current advice (updated on 27 March 2020) stating that “online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.”

Jayne Allport

"We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the correct safeguards are in place

“We have reduced the number of colleagues on site by more than 80% at any given time. We have increased hygiene and cleaning processes, and have implemented social distancing measures in our warehouse and office. We will continue to act in line with the latest government advice and are continually monitoring the situation.”

Usdaw is also calling on the Government to clarify their advice.

The union said: "Online retail relies on people working in warehouses, distribution centres and delivering to residential addresses.

"Social distancing is very difficult in all these situations and yet many non-food purchases will not be essential. The Government needs to act to ensure that workers are protected and the risks are minimised by restricting non-essential online retail.

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