Matalan comes under fire over conditions at Merseyside factory

Matalan's HQ

Merseyside retailer Matalan has been accused of putting the health of its staff at risk.

Pictures have emerged of workers at the firm crowding together at the company’s warehouse in Kirkby.

The retailer said the images are “concerning”, and added that it is operating its warehouse “with a number of precautions in place”.

The company added precautions include social distancing rules regular breaks for handwashing and increased cleaning.

The company has closed its stores but is still allowing shoppers to make purchases online.

A Matalan spokeswoman told the Liverpool Echo: “It is concerning to see this image as we are operating our warehouses with a number of precautions in place such as implementing social distancing rules, regular breaks for washing hands and increased cleaning of all facilities.

“This is an unprecedented and extremely tricky situation and the safety and welfare of our colleagues remains our absolute priority.”

Shaun Buckley, from the GMB Union criticised the firm.

He said: “GMB has been inundated with messages from worried GMB members in a state of panic that Matalan bosses are putting workers and their families’ lives at risk.

“Such blatant disregard for people’s welfare must not be allowed to continue. GMB demands urgent action from the Government to stop bad bosses flaunting the rules.

“We are using every available means to force Matalan to do the right thing.”

Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson has also criticised building firm Laing O’Rourke after a video was posted online of staff at the  Royal Liverpool Hospital site.

His message was blunt and to the point.

He said: “Sort it or I will. these workers need protecting and go home to families.”