Hundreds of warehouse workers have been assured ‘stringent measures’ are in place to keep them safe – after one of their colleagues was struck down with coronavirus.
Current and former staff members have contacted StokeonTrentLive with their concerns after a worker at the Asda George distribution centre, in Chesterton, was taken ill with Covid-19.
The employee – who has not been named at his family’s request – was taken ill on Friday, April 10 with suspected coronavirus. He has this week been fighting for his life in intensive care at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
The medical emergency comes just a fortnight after hundreds of people signed a petition calling for greater staff protection at the giant Lymedale Business Park warehouse.
They also questioned whether a clothes depot falls into the category of an ‘essential service’ during the current coronavirus lockdown.
One worker said: “In my opinion, we are non-essential warehouse workers. The depot should have been closed and now we are busier than before Christmas because people are staying at home ordering more and more stuff.
“We are seriously worrying for ourselves and our families.
“We are praying for our colleague and cannot wait to see his happy face again.”
Asda says all ‘social distancing and protective measures are being well observed’ at its depot.
It has revealed that Staffordshire Police have also checked out the warehouse.
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An Asda spokesman said: “We would like to send our best wishes to our colleague and his family.
“We would also like to reassure our colleagues at the Lymedale depot that their safety and wellbeing is extremely important to us, which is why we have stringent measures in place to ensure all our stores and depots abide by the Government’s social distancing guidelines and colleagues can maintain good hygiene while at work.
“We will always support our colleagues, so should they feel any symptoms of coronavirus, or if they live with anyone suffering symptoms, we are asking them to self-isolate and are providing them with full pay.
“We are pleased that Staffordshire Police and our own internal checks have all found that the social distancing and protective measures at the Lymedale depot are being well observed.’’