“Terrified” workers at fashion giant ASOS are revolting after complaining of “cramped” working conditions, a “ban” on masks and three ambulance visits in one day.
The major online British retailer is staying open amid the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, but its staff have been taking to social media to hit out at bosses over claims of poor working conditions.
Staff at ASOS’ warehouse in Barnsley, Yorkshire, claim that social distancing measures are “impossible” with around 500 people said to be working at the base.
They claim that staff busses are “cramped”, that there are shortages of alcohol hand sanitiser, and they they are not allowed to wear masks as it is not part of their uniform.
And on one day this week it is claimed three ambulances visited the factory – forcing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to urge ASOS “this can’t go on”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Concerning to hear reports from workers that the @ASOS warehouse in Barnsley was visited by three ambulances yesterday.
“@GMB_Union are right to say: this can't go on.
“ASOS bosses must make their workplace safe – or shut up shop.”
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ASOS has strongly refuted the claims, however, with a spokesman saying: “We totally refute these allegations.
“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. An environmental health officer visited and was happy.”
Daily Star Online has contacted ASOS for further comment.
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Among the allegations, one worker wrote to the CEO of ASOS, Nick Beighton, on Twitter, saying: “Hi I am a worker at Asos Barnsley.
“I am telling you me and my colleagues we are really afraid to go to work, it is impossible to keep a safe distance inside the warehouse.
“They told us his not aloud (sic) to wear mask because his (sic) not part of our uniform.”
Another wrote to Mr Beighton: “I am an employee at @ASOS.
“I can tell you there is little safety precautions. It is impossible to have a safe distance as well as doing your job hitting the targets.
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“All I want is to keep myself safe and my family. It’s non essential work I’m scared.”
Mr Beighton has been responding to some tweets, replying to one: “We are operating under the authority and encouragement of the government, where they have explicitly encouraged online business to continue for the good of the economy, jobs but with enhanced health and safety measures.”
To another, he wrote: “Deanne it’s the mid season sale not a flash sale .. facts are really important and sometimes inconvenient to your stories I know.. but stay with facts please.”
He added: “Deanna .. happy saturday .. you still don’t have any facts .. you have never been in the facility.”
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