Aerospace Workers In Kilkeel Must Be Protected Says Hazzard
Hazzard welcomes agreement at Kilkeel aerospace plant
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has welcomed an accommodation reached between management at trade unions to protect workers at Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel.
The South Down MP said: “I welcome the fact that an accommodation has been reached between staff, management and trade unions at Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel to protect workers.
“I had been liaising with trade unions and listening to the concerns of workers about physical distancing measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Staff at the firm will now be given the option of going home on full pay for two weeks. This is a responsible step taken by the company.
“The advice is clear; all non-essential businesses should shut and workers involved in delivering essential services must be protected.
South Down Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said in an earlier post that it is vital that workers providing essential services are protected in the workplace and all non-essential businesses are closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The South Down MP added: “While I acknowledge the efforts of management at Collins Aerospace, Kilkeel, to introduce physical distancing measures and limit the health risk to the workforce, we share the concerns of trade union representatives that the measures have not gone far enough.
“It is clear that the decision not to temporarily close the facility is creating fear and uncertainty among the workforce, and also the wider Mourne area as many hundreds of local families rely on the factory for employment.
“Sinn Féin representatives have been engaging with senior management and trade union representatives in recent days to see if an agreed position can be arrived at in the best interests of the workforce and the public safety of the local community.
“It is our view that if the workforce do not have confidence in the health and safety measures introduced by Collins Aerospace, then senior management must urgently reconsider their decision not to temporarily close.
“Similar aerospace manufacturers such as Bombardier have decided in recent days that they are non-essential and have temporarily closed.
“The Executive at Stormont have been clear that all non-essential manufacturing should stop; that workers’ safety is paramount and no worker should be asked to chose between their health and their livelihood.”