Union Requests Protection For Poultry Workers

The GMB union has called on public authorities to protect the health and safety as well as the job security of the poultry workers dealing with the avian influenza (AI) outbreak at a Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk.

The GMB has members working in the poultry industry, many of them Portuguese.

Shaun Graham, GMB senior organiser for East Anglia, said in a statement: "GMB is contacting the public health authorities to ensure that everything that needs to be done is being done to safeguard the health and safety of the workers in the poultry industry in East Anglia and in particular in the Bernard Matthews organisation.

"It is essential that all the workers are contacted and advised of what they need to do to protect their health and GMB will assist in this via our mainly Portuguese members in getting the message to these poultry workers.

"GMB is also contacting the company regarding the job security of GMB members employed by the company as poultry workers. GMB wants to ensure that the impact on workers will be included by Defra when it comes to the calculation of compensation for the outbreak."

A spokesman for Bernard Matthews said no jobs were at risk.

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