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WATCH: Newsnight marks GMB's landmark win at Bakkavor

04 Mar 2021
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BBC's flagship news programme marks the union's landmark win for mass testing and full pay for covid positive staff

GMB the union for Bakkavor workers claimed a massive victory in December 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, also carried out a deep clean of the factory. 

The news came after two tragic covid related deaths amongst workers at the Tilmanstone factory, and cases rocketed from around 35 in the third week of November to 99 at the start of December last year.

The factory has 800 employees, but many of those were office staff currently working from home.  

GMB was calling for the measures since the outbreak started and claimed the changes ‘would 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: 

"The changes have helped 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, meant 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. 

“We continue to send our deepest condolences to the families of those who have died”

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