300 staff self isolating after second Covid outbreak in Haribo factory

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Fans of Haribo will be heartbroken to hear that 300 workers at a factory in West Yorkshire that makes the sugary treats are self-isolating after a number of employees tested positive for coronavirus.

Some 30 employees at the factory in Pontefract have tested positive for Covid-19. This is the second outbreak at the Haribo site in as many weeks.

Despite that, a statement issued on behalf of the company says: ”We can confirm that there is a cluster of cases, with 30 colleagues testing positive for Covid-19 at our Pontefract site.

"Each individual and those that have been in close contact are now self-isolating."

The statement continued: "We continue to work with the Environmental Health Office and Public Health England.

"Both have been notified and have confirmed that the processes, controls, and measures we have in place are more than satisfactory.

"As a business, we continue to go above and beyond the Government's guidance and follow strict internal standards around the health, safety and well-being of our colleagues, which is our top priority."

The German-owned firm employs more than 700 staff in Pontefract and Castleford.

Pontefract MP Yvette Cooper told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the news had been “even more of a blow” for loyal employees who had carried on working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

She added: “The country is already in recession – we badly need action from Government to prevent things getting worse.”

She said that in the case of the Haribo plant, that means government money to help support the workforce, and save jobs in the longer term.

“I am really worried. Not just about the job losses at Haribo,” she said, "but also about the timing when so many other local jobs are being hit because of the recession.”

She added that she had been in touch with the GMB trade union who represent workers at the Haribo factory, and said they were “assessing the proposals to see whether there are alternative ways to save jobs.”

Managing director of the factory, Jon Hughes, said Haribo needed to respond to “significant rising costs and the demands of a highly competitive market” in order to protect the long-term future of the Yorkshire operation.

He added: "We will provide all the support necessary as we consult with them about the best way to protect the future of Haribo manufacturing in the UK."

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