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ASOS warehouse workers walk out due to criticism over lack of Coronavirus protection

Sadiyah Ismailjee
30 March 2020

Around 500 ASOS warehouse workers have walked out of their shifts in Yorkshire after saying they were unable to practise government social distancing advice to stay two metres away from other people during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The pureplay fashion etailer has been criticised by a worker’s union which accused the company of “playing Russian roulette with people’s lives."

GMB organiser Deanne Ferguson told the Morning Star about ASOS’ policy: “The situation at Asos is disgusting: thousands of people under one roof, not enforcing social distancing.It looks exactly like a hotbed of infection and workers are very scared."

“Asos needs to put people before profits and make sure workers are the right distance apart and paid properly if they need to take time off. Anything else is putting unnecessary lives at risk.”

However ASOS insisted its operations are in line with official public health and government guidance, with a spokesperson saying: “We are striking the right balance between keeping our warehouse operational for the good of employees and the wider economy, and maintaining the health and safety of staff."

ASOS added: “An environmental health officer visited and was happy.”

A number of online retailer such as Net-a-Porter and retailers have closed down they're online trading platforms over the last week after facing increasing criticism over working conditions in distribution hubs during the outbreak. Despite this, many companies have insisted they are carrying out strict hygiene and social distancing measures.

Read ASOS' profile in our master data base of fashion, The Intelligence.

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