Analysis Exclusive

Excl: as Boris Johnson said companies must ensure employees safely distanced, these were scenes at Matalan

PM underscored crucial safety rules for workers who cannot stay home – at odds with images from Matalan distribution centre

At his press conference this evening, Boris Johnson again told the nation that if workers are able to stay at home,

then you overwhelmingly should stay at home

during the coronavirus crisis. Johnson went on to stress that for those for whom it is ‘absolutely necessary… to go to a place of work’, then:

then it’s vital that your employer follows the rules set out by Public Health England and ensures that you have the protections that you need – and the proper rules on social distancing do apply.

But today workers at Matalan’s Kirkby distribution centre sent images to the SKWAWKBOX of their working environment, which they say has them deeply worried:

The images raise serious concerns about the likelihood of the virus spreading if even a single worker was carrying the virus:

Matalan uses a PR company to handle all its press enquiries. The SKWAWKBOX tried several times today to obtain the company’s comment on conditions facing its workers and left messages each time, but none of the calls was returned.

Government advisers believe that the COVID-19 coronavirus could overwhelm the NHS and kill hundreds of thousands of people in the UK if its spread is not slowed or stopped.

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  1. Here in Portugal the shops are orderly, they restrict the number of people in the supermarket, people wait in queues standing 2m apart in boxes marked out with tape on the floor, they are directed one way around the supermarket, with a few ‘blind alleys’ then queue at the checkout, again in neat 2m apart boxes market on the floor with tape. Cashiers rubber-gloved, masked, wiping the conveyer belt with disinfectant between customers, plastic shield in place, fully stocked, all very sensible. With GNR (police) officers checking these precautions are in place. In huge contrast to what I am hearing from the UK, where the government, by stupidity or malice, seem to be encouraging a cull.

  2. Hello Tawsingham Community
    When we do see off Covid 19, sadly it won’t be because of our government,
    it will be in spite of it.

    Stay safe

  3. Meanwhile we have Cuba, starved by sanctions on materials… filthy lucre. But you can’t starve the spirit of the Cubans. They have belief and determination nurtured by Fidel Castro. Despite all they have not given in. Many are misled by the sight or tales of those fleeing to the USA. Few know of the Adjustment of of 1960 i think…. That act meant if a Cuban took a flight to the USA they would be returned to Cuba. But if they risked life to make it by rickety mode over the sea, they would be granted a Green Card. A perilous route to the American Dream. This Act of course created a regular supply of propaganda gold. A similar Act does not apply to the Haitians. For decades the USA and the French have allowed the Duvaliers to maintain the most horrible suffering on the Haitian people. “Pa Pa Doc” was exiled to Paris to see our his days. Baby Doc Duvalier ended his days in Brooklyn NY i think. The west enabled another mobster in “Capitalist” Haiti. A hell on earth. I have never been but knew someone connected with the UN who has. In fact, i saw a photo of a sitting room in a house in which i grew up a million years ago. I could see a wooden carving the friend brought back as a gift from Haiti. The Haitian still suffer and the Clintons have a “Charitable Foundation” which us supposed to benefit Haiti. I think it is worth many millions. When you hear or read of “Charitable Foundations”, look and question. What exactly has the money been spent on? What are the SPECIFIC outcomes? Has there been any material change in the well being of the “target”? Eg the people of Haiti after not one, not two but three or more decades? After ever hurricane or earthquake in the region, Haiti in particular suffers due directly to Capitalist exploitation and neglect of their satellite poodle… at the mercy of those who hold the lead. But you would not think it was a poodle. It looks like a ravaged, flea infested hound.

    1. A cheap clothing retailer with a bad reputation. This from Wikipedia:

      Matalan was among the companies who sourced clothes from the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh which collapsed, killing 1,129, in April 2013. In July 2014, they were the focus of a campaign by 38 Degrees and Labour Behind the Label, for failing to contribute to the official compensation fund coordinated by the ILO. This was in contrast to some of their main competitors, such as Primark who contributed $9 million. After pressure, they announced that they would contribute an undisclosed amount. It was later revealed that they had paid £60,000 into the fund, which labour rights campaigns challenged as being an insufficient amount compared with other retailers.

      Matalan Retail Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Missouri Topco Limited, a holding company which is based in Guernsey and is controlled by the Hargreaves family.

      1. PW, that explains why I’m unfamiliar with the name.
        Late wife (dead to me anyway) coutured me in C&A’s finest – from the mid-80’s I’ve gone downhill – now I’m ‘Man at Asda’ 🙂

  4. This utterly incompetent, ideologically toxic, government’s disastrous handling of this pandemic continues to horrify and amaze. Sky News reports than , following the setting up of the London Excel-based ‘Nightingale critical care’ 4,000 bed warehouse for the seriously ill (a mass ‘dying centre’ I’m afraid, not a real treatment centre) , ten more of these warehouse pseudo hospitals are to be set up near the major cities very soon. That is the terrifying reality away from the BBC government propaganda spin, and endless lies from the likes of pathological liar Hancock about protective equipment supplies to medical staff.

  5. The Guardian reports today that the ‘new daily deaths’ announcements from the government will from now on simply be ‘cooked up’ , by the government ludicrously claiming that their announcement of numbers will depend on ‘relatives permissions’ ! Since the names of victims need not be announced with the global, or regional, UK figure of new dead, this is a blatant government ruse to mask the ever-growing death toll. So , via this new methodology, the latest numbers are lower than the previous days figure. ‘bogus ‘good new’ at the expense of truth. See below:

    “In the comments some readers have been asking about the fact that the government released the UK coronavirus death figures yesterday much later than usual, and that the increase on the previous day (41) was much lower than the previous day’s increase (87).

    According to Newsnight’s Nicholas Watt, that is because the government is changing the way it is compiling the figures.

    Sienna Rodgers
    Well, this is very interesting from @nicholaswatt – the govt is changing the way it is releasing death figures, which “may not actually be the deaths that have taken place over the last 24 hrs” as family consent is now required:

    March 26, 2020”

  6. Never mind the government ‘good news’ propaganda, and now blatant lying about the daily death totals – this, from the Guardian, is the reality in some London hospitals ! Note that even this early on sickness’ absentee rates of up to 50% are being reported in London hospitals by staff already crumbling physically and mentally ! 50% absentee rates cannot be accounted for by genuine physical , coronavirus-based illness this early on. This is a sure sign of low moral and many staff simply going AWOL by staying at home with their loved ones. This is the reality beyond the bullshit from the government and their tame officials.

    “London hospitals seeing ‘continuous tsunami’ of ill patients, says health leader

    London hospitals are facing a “continuous tsunami” of seriously-ill patients because of coronavirus, a health service leader said this morning. Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, used the phrase in an interview on the Today programme. Commenting on the situation in London, he said:

    They are struggling with two things. The first is the explosion of demand they are seeing in seriously ill patients. They talk about wave after wave after wave – the word that’s often used to me is a continuous tsunami.

    We are now seeing 30%, 40% and indeed in some places 50% sickness rates as staff catch the virus or are in vulnerable groups or have to self-isolate. That’s an unprecedented absence rate.

    So what we have got is a really wicked combination – trusts trying to deal with a lot more demand than they have ever had before with a lot fewer staff than they have had before.

    Hopson said that, while extra capacity was being brought in – including 4,000 beds at the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands – hospital chief executives are concerned that “

  7. Transpency,Honesty and Integrity just took backward step- this one day after parliament shutting- who is going to hold and scrutinise the government not MSM.
    Is now the time for the Unions to organise /establish a media outlet- suggested by Richard Burgon.

  8. There’s a lot of this flouting the rules going on by well-known businesses. I do hope people aren’t allowed to forget just who’s guilty of what when this crisis is over. Unions should put full page sreads in the nationals on the smallest of grievances outlining the record(s) of some of these high-street businesses AND their owners/CEOs

    One other thing. That Excel centre in Londinium…

    If the spread gets bad enough, how many MPs, or family members of MPs will they put in there? Peers of the realm? How many Tv ‘anchors’?

  9. Sports Direct and Mike Ashley CONDEMNED AGAIN

    Send home Shirebrook workers on full pay’ – Unite tells Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley
    Unite regional officer Cheryl Pidgeon said in a letter: “We have reports of workers being threatened with no jobs if they self-isolate when they have underlying health concerns.

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