Asos workers have walked out of warehouses where they claim it is “impossible to socially distance” as the retailer refuses to close operations.
Employees at Asos’ warehouse in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, have stopped working over fears that they’re being put in danger of contagion.
Official government guidelines state that people must stay 6ft away from each other to prevent the virus spreading from person to person, however workers complained this was “impossible” at the warehouse where workers were sat “3ft away” in numerous directions.
Another worker from Asos’ Barnsley site took to Twitter to state: “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 added that they had been told not to wear masks at work as it was not part of their uniform.
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 to wear mask because his not part of our uniform .We gonna die there
— Gabriel Martinesc (@GMartinesc) March 28, 2020
Some are now calling for a boycott of the retailer on social media, while both the GMB workers union and Jeremy Corbyn have called on Asos to close their operations.
ASOS bosses must make their workplace safe – or shut up shop.https://t.co/0ZPfebp9QO
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 28, 2020
I've been a huge #ASOS fan for years, and I'm deleting the app 🙅 read the room and CLOSE YOUR WAREHOUSES.
also anyone buying clothes right now, you can buy them after all this instead and there will still be sales I promise https://t.co/TC85sTavbV
— 🎭🦸MJ Deans🎮 📚 #ACNH (@Melissa_Deans) March 30, 2020
In response to the allegations, Asos said: “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.”
This follows similar allegations from the GMB workers’ union last week which claimed Asos was “playing Russian roulette with people’s lives”.
Asos again refuted the GMB’s claims stating that they “do nothing more than serve to create panic and hysteria in an already uncertain time”.