Unite the Union has today welcomed new Welsh Government Guidance for meat and food plants in relation to the prevention and management of coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance, which was published following consultation with interested parties including Unite, clearly sets out the responsibility that employers must undertake to prevent outbreaks of Covid19 within their workplaces.

The guidance specifically states that employers should ensure that employees “do not suffer a financial detriment as a result of self-isolation’. Rowan Foods, which is currently dealing with a Covid19 outbreak amongst its staff, has so far refused to pay self-isolating workers their normal pay.

Dave Griffiths Regional Officer commented:

“Unite is surprised by Public comments made by the Wrexham Management Team at Rowan Foods and its Parent Company Oscar Mayer Foods following a two day inspection by the HSE. We have hundreds of members that continue to dispute Rowan Foods version of events. The Covid positive testing at Rowan Foods tells its own story.

We are calling upon Rowan Foods to comply with Welsh Government guidance and pay their workers in full when self-isolating in order to ensure that employees do not suffer a financial detriment. Only by doing this can we ensure that the virus is not transmitted further on this site, in our communities and beyond. Full sick pay so that employees can stay home and be safe is in our view the key action that would have stopped the virus spreading on this site.

We have today contacted the Managing Director of Rowan Foods and the Human Resources Director in order to commence consultations on site in line with the new guidance. This will enable Unite the union to properly represent its members and ensure that everything is done to protect the local community and the customers of this employer”.


For further information please contact Glyn Conolly on 07974 131771

Notes to editors

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.


Twitter: @unitewales Facebook: unitewales Web: www.unitetheunion.org