NI meat factory worker dies after testing positive for COVID-19 - 'NI Executive must act now' says Unite official

Moy Park factory, Dungannon.Moy Park factory, Dungannon.
Moy Park factory, Dungannon. | other
A worker at one of Northern Ireland's biggest meat processing factory has died after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a Unite the Union official.

The deceased was a woman in her fifties who worked on the production line at the Moy Park meat factory in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.

There is no suggestion that Moy Park is responsible for either the transmission of the disease or the death of the woman.

Moy Park has insisted that "robust" measures have been in place at the factory.

Sean McKeever, Regional Officer for Unite, expressed sadness at the death of the woman and called on the Northern Ireland Executive to introduce emergency legislation to protect workers in meat processing factories.

"This is devastating news and we would like to extend our condolences to her friends and family," said Mr. McKeever.

“The Northern Ireland Executive must act now before it is too late.

"We don’t want to see a repeat of their inaction that led to the crisis and avoidable deaths in our care homes.

"There are particular challenges in meat processing factories which mean they need a sector-specific strategy.

"We want to avoid the risk of the industry facing the same crisis as in the USA and Brazil where tens of thousands of workers have caught this virus."

Mr. McKeever added: " If Ministers don’t act to ensure such actions to protect workers, Unite will not sit back and watch while our members’ safety is compromised."

Moy Park has been asked if it would like to provide a response.