Unite Scotland has called for the 2 Sisters food group to provide full pay for any workers having to self-isolate and who have been told not to return to the workplace due to a new Covid outbreak.

Following on from a major outbreak at the 2 Sisters site in Coupar Angus in August 2020, which led to the factory closing for two weeks, another outbreak occurred over New Year. Back in August 2020, 200 workers tested positive for the virus and as of Friday 15 January, 23 workers have tested positive and 66 were self-isolating.

Public Health Scotland have decided that the factory is safe to remain open but have advised that some workers who were working in the affected areas of the factory should self-isolate as a precautionary measure to stop the virus spreading. Unite is also calling for the immediate introduction of testing using lateral flow devices to address ongoing concerns over the site’s susceptibility to Covid outbreaks.

Susan Robertson, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite welcomed the previous decision by 2 Sisters in August 2020 to pay these low-income workers full pay and we are calling on them to do the right thing once again. It’s also vital that the company work with the authorities to introduce lateral flow testing to the site as soon as possible.”

"It’s vital that 2 Sisters also investigate the possibility of utilising the Job Support Scheme for these workers due to the fact that although the factory has not been closed they have had to change operations due to Covid risk. Unlike other businesses, this highly profitable company has continued to operate during the pandemic and it has employed more staff than ever before at the Coupar Angus site. If workers are fit to be at work but self-isolating due to Public Health Scotland’s advice then they should be paid in full it is as simple as that.”