GMB London says workers, including those serving food and drink, at Heathrow are being put at unnecessary risk.
Heathrow’s website states that in line with government advice all of their restaurants are closed. But some shops are open, allowing passengers to purchase food and drinks.
Recently H&C News did question why 15,000 passengers a day are still arriving at Heathrow, where no Covid-19 health checks are in place.
GMB London says that work is ongoing at the two open Heathrow terminals where social distancing measures are not being practiced.
The union for airport workers, is calling for urgent action from management at Heathrow Airport.
The call is for much more stringent measures to be put in place to comply with the government’s social distancing requirements. Measures that would protect the health and safety of their members working at Heathrow, and passengers.
Workers fear the risk of contracting the virus from passengers returning from countries where Covid-19 is prevalent.
The PPE provided is not be enough to protect our members who feel exposed in this over-crowded environment. They need the protection of social distancing. HAL is disregarding the TUC Joint Council, HSE and the CBI statement which makes clear that employers who remain open during the current crisis must guarantee safe working conditions and minimise the risk of workers being exposed to Covid-19.
The statement from the TUC Joint Council, HSE and CBI warned that employers who do not comply with the latest Public Health England guidance, including by not introducing social distancing measures, face being hit with enforcement notices.
Heathrow flouts Covid-19 screening – first hand view
There is currently no Covid-19 screening at Heathrow airport which heightens the real concern that airport workers are at greater risk of contracting and spreading the virus. In the past two weeks 3 GMB London Region members working at Heathrow have lost their lives to the coronavirus.
Trevlyn McLeod, GMB London Region Organiser said: “On Tuesday 27 April two flights arrived at the same time from the same country, HAL allocated one conveyor belt for up to 500 passengers waiting to collect their bags. No social distancing was enforced in what was a very crowded area.
“These are not safe conditions for passengers, and they are not safe working conditions for our members who are going to work at Heathrow each day during this health crisis, risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Heathrow flouts Covid-19 screening – Government guidelines ignored
“I find it incredulous that almost 8 weeks into the Covid-19 lockdown, Heathrow is still operating flights without enforcing the government’s guidelines on social distancing at the airport. There is no Covid-19 screening to help contain the spread of the virus in operation at Heathrow or many other overseas airports. Enforcing social distancing is essential if our members and airport passengers are to feel that their lives are more important than money.”