Staff members forced to work without protective barriers and without support
Union discussing option of strike action by membership in response to concerns
Davy McMurray, Unite Regional Officer said that management were playing ‘loose and fast’ with the health and safety of workers:
“Unite members at Sean Graham’s have told me of the near Dickensian conditions in which management expect them to work. Cost-cutting has left some staff members working by themselves, alone, in bookies with no opportunity to take a comfort break or even to take a lunch break.
“The majority of this workforce is women who are paid only poverty-wages but expected to toil day-after-day at workplaces with poor health and safety protections. In some cases, they work at open counters without protective screens or reinforced glass which might prevent theft or aggression from customers.
“Unite has raised the concerns of our members with management but their response is entirely inadequate and will leave them exposed to the threat of abusive behaviour. We are demanding that the company take steps to ensure a ‘zero tolerance’ approach is taken to this issue. Everyone is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment, intimidation and the threat of violence.
“Sean Grahams is a highly profitable company operating a network of small offices across Northern Ireland. They can afford to look after those who act as the face of their business on a day-to-day basis. Management must address the health and safety of its workforce with immediate effect. We will be engaging further with our membership to discuss our options to protect their safety, including strike action”, Mr McMurray concluded.