Boohoo warehouse a ‘breeding ground for coronavirus’ workers say after 25 caught bug at work

Boohoo warehouse a ‘breeding ground for coronavirus’ workers say after 25 caught bug at work

July 12, 2020

A BOOHOO warehouse where 25 workers caught Covid was dubbed a "coronavirus breeding ground" by staff.

Workers at the distribution centre in Tinsley, Sheffield, said they feared for their lives during lockdown as the virus spread from colleague to colleague.

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Tinsley's local MP, Clive Betts, said 50 workers complained about the warehouse's safety during lockdown.

He said some felt their lives were at risk, while Boohoo says it followed government guidance to the retail sector in keeping the warehouse open.

On March 31, they told him: “The warehouse is completely full, people are virtually on top of each other with nothing put in place for social distancing, no PPE whatsoever.

"It’s a breeding ground for the virus and needs closing down ASAP!”

It comes after a Sun investigation revealed the extent of overcrowding in many factories in Leicester – which is now locked down to clamp down on cases.

'LIVES AT RISK'

In Sheffield, one worker developed a fever, constipation and bad back three days after his final shift at the warehouse.

His wife and 12-year-old son also fell ill and tests confirmed they each had Covid-19.

The dad-of-two, who did not wish to be named, told The Times: “I caught it from the warehouse.

"There’s no way I should have been working. How is distributing cheap women’s fashion essential?”

I want to reassure you that we took immediate action when this was brought to our attention.

"I needed to put food on the table for my kids. I knew there was a risk in continuing to work.”

The warehouse distributes clothes under the PrettyLittleThing label – a Boohoo group brand – although no clothes are made in the building.

A video published on social media on March 26 shows workers in the factory grouped in hi-vis jackets in apparent breach of social distancing.

Boohoo’s chief executive, John Lyttle, responded: “I want to reassure you that we took immediate action when this was brought to our attention."

The warehouse building is operated by a third-party logistics firm called Clipper.

Between April and June this year, it was investigated by Sheffield city council and Public Health England, which identified a Covid-19 outbreak.

The warehouse was found to be taking reasonable steps to ensure worker safety.

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