Asos says Barnsley hub safe after union urges closure for coronavirus deep clean

In a letter sent to Asos founder Nick Robertson, trade union GMB said safety measures on site were “insufficient”. According to the union, a recent poll of almost 500 workers at the depot found 98% felt unsafe at work amid the coronavirus crisis. “Asos has remained open and active throughout the current crisis and lockdown. Now, in light of confirmed coronavirus cases, they must close while a deep clean is carried out,” said Will Dalton, GMB organiser.

About 4,000 people are employed at the warehouse, which has continued to operate throughout the lockdown.But in reply, Asos said there was no evidence to suggest that the confirmed Covid-19 cases were contracted on-site. It added that the percentage of the team affected was “significantly lower” than the national average and for that of the Barnsley Metropolitan area, within which the site is based.“Of the nine people affected, close to half had not been on site for more than two weeks before testing positive for the virus, and all have self-isolated at home, in line with Government guidance. We remain in contact with them and wish them well with their recoveries,” an Asos spokesperson said.“Given the warehouse’s size and scale, its level of automation and the extra, industry-leading health and safety measures we have put in place since the start of the pandemic, it remains a safe place to work.“We and XPO Logistics, which manages the site on our behalf, are monitoring the situation closely and have taken further precautionary measures. This includes contact tracing – asking anyone who was in contact with the individual to monitor themselves for symptoms – and ensuring any areas where the individuals have been are cleaned as part of an enhanced hygiene programme.”The fashion e-tailer insisted that its social distancing protocols exceed the latest Government guidelines “in many areas”, and added that it is communicating regularly with staff, the Community Union and the local Environmental Health office.Commenting on GMB’s letter, Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: “Our regulatory services team have been making regular unannounced visits to the [Asos] site to ensure the safety of staff. The company has put various measures in place to protect staff, and has quickly taken on board and acted on all advice and suggestions to improve things further.“It is important to remember that Asos has a large workforce and this is a global pandemic. When employees test positive for the disease, it does not necessarily mean they contracted it at work.”

Related Posts

AAFA- Under Armour’s Colin Brown hands over chair to PVH’s Sarah Clarke

Clarke will work with vice-chair Ted Dagnese, head of sourcing at the Lululemon Athletica group. Katherine Gold, president of the Goldburg group, has been appointed treasurer, while…

As buyers demand it, Bangladesh garment factories go green

But when she came back to the garment factory region west of Dhaka with her new husband a few years later, she found conditions at some factories…

Gillette makes all its razors recyclable in Canada

The Procter & Gamble-owned personal care brand has joined forces with the waste management company TerraCycle on an initiative that will see all of its brands of…

Coronavirus likely hammered U.S. retail sales again in April

The report from the Commerce Department on Friday would add to a historic 20.5 million job losses last month in underscoring the deepening economic slump that analysts…

Hanneli Rupert defends use of exotic skins in South Africa

The 34-year-old South African entrepreneur runs Merchants on Long, a fashion concept store she founded in Cape Town a decade ago that specializes in African designers’ clothes…

Hong Kong Aug retail sales worst on record as protests escalate

Retail sales in August fell 23% from a year earlier, government data showed, worse than a 21.48% fall in September 1998, according to Refinitiv data, as violent…