The United Kingdom has been utterly battered by Storm Emma and The Beast From The East, quite simply putting an end to all normality in the nation.
Ferocious winds, sub-zero temperatures, snow, and ice coating the entire country has made anything aside from sitting in by the fire dangerous.
However despite there being a ‘threat to life’ weather warning issued from 3pm last Wednesday until 10am on Thursday, countless bosses reportedly ‘forced’ their staff to come in to work – essentially risking their lives, reports the Mirror.
Businesses such as Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Marks & Spencer, and McDonald’s were all slammed by their employees after a survey was carried out by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, with many claiming they were pressured into work despite there being a red weather warning.
The survey found that 43 per cent of the 900 that filled it in were forced to travel to work in spite of advice by Police Scotland and the Scottish Government to stay in.
The findings are so ‘shocking’ that the Union will be meeting with the First Minister tomorrow to discuss why this was allowed to happen.
STUC deputy general secretary, Dave Moxham, said:
This survey provides a shocking insight into the attitude of some employers to the recent adverse weather conditions.
Complaints range from workers being forced to work during red weather warnings, being told to ignore red weather warnings, having pay and holidays docked when unable to attend work and having care responsibilities ignored.
One worker for Marks & Spencer’s said:
Staff were expected to get to work by any means. The manager said he was not ‘taking the weather warning as an excuse’.
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A similar story comes from a McDonald’s delivery driver:
One delivery worker worked seven hours without a break in sub-zero conditions.
After around nine hours of agitation and growing anger, not to mention worsening of working conditions, with the support of my trade union, the store was forced to close.
And there are countless other stories.
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It truly is sickening that some of the biggest companies in this nation are quite happy to risk the lives and wellbeing of their employees to pocket more money for themselves.
Not for the ones risking their lives, they’re almost definitely earning pennies, but those in suits, ordering them onto the black ice ridden roads, will have a tasty pay cheque waiting for them at the end of the month.
This shouldn’t be happening in 2018.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.