Bakkavor Covid Outbreak: Massive win for workers and public as company agrees to full pay for Coronavirus absence
"Mass testing and full pay for covid positive staff will save lives", says GMB
GMB, the union for Bakkavor workers, has claimed a massive victory as the fresh food giant agreed full pay for staff off work and a rollout of mass testing at the Tilmanstone salads factory.
The company, which supplies major retailers including Marks and Spencer, has also carried out a deep clean of the factory.
The news comes after two tragic Covid-related deaths amongst workers at the Tilmanstone factory in the last week, and cases have rocketed from around 35 in the third week of November to 99 as of Thursday. 
The factory has 800 employees, but many of those are office staff currently working from home.
GMB has been calling for the measures since the outbreak started and claimed todays changes ‘will help save lives’ and that they hope will lead to a significant fall in positive cases at the Kent based factory.
Frank Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser said: "These changes will help save lives and go a long way to making Tilmanstone Salads factory as safe a place as possible to work in during this current crisis.
“Full pay for staff who test positive, now means that our members can sleep easy at night, safe in the knowledge that if they do test positive their wage is secure and they won’t have to worry about putting bread on the table.
“After a tragic few weeks we’ll be working with Bakkavor to roll out these measures which we hope will lead to a significant drop in covid cases.
“We send our deepest condolences to the families of those who have died”
Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:  https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/news/second-bakkavor-worker-dies-amid-covid-outbreak