"there's no doubt that people are very frightened."
More than 100 workers at a chicken factory which supplies chicken to KFC and M&S have been hit by a “major” Coronavirus outbreak.
Around a quarter of the 560 workers at the 2 Sisters site in Anglesey, North Wales, are self-isolating after a series of confirmed cases.
One staff member at the plant is currently being treated in hospital while 12 others have tested positive.
Paddy McNaught is the regional officer for Unite. He described it as a “major” outbreak at the plant.
He said: “The company are taking this seriously.
“Our stewards are working with the company on site to put protective measures in place.
“But there’s no doubt that people are very frightened.
“They’re concerned about bringing the virus home to vulnerable members of their families, and they’re concerned about creating a spike in cases on the island.”
The 2 Sisters Food Group is one of the largest food producers in the UK, with sites across the country and brands including Fox’s Biscuits and Holland’s Pies.
It also produces around a third of all poultry products consumed each day in the UK and has more than 7,000 workers in its specialist factories.
The company said in a statement that it was “working to provide the safest possible working environment” at the site in Llangefni.
It added: “As a company policy we will confirm cases, but will not provide running commentaries nor disclose employee data.”
An Anglesey council spokesperson said: “The North Wales Regional Test, Trace, Protect team is responding to the cluster of coronavirus cases at the Two Sisters plant in Llangefni as a priority, and supporting the workplace.
“Key agencies including Public Health Wales, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Health and Safety Executive and both Anglesey and Gwynedd Councils are working together to support and advise the employer and those employees who have tested positive, together with their contacts.”
The chicken factory is owned by Ranjit Singh Boparan, who is nicknamed the ‘chicken king’.
He has been in the headlines for numerous reasons in previous years.
In 2015, one of his firms was fined £8,000 after one of his Halal plants mistreated chickens that were heading for slaughter. This included boiling more than 60 chickens alive as a result of a defective machine.
In 2017, employees at another plant were accused of changing the best before date of products.
Mr Boparan’s son Antonio was jailed for 21 months after he was involved in a crash while overtaking another car in November 2006.
The smash left 11-month-old Cerys Edwards with a broken spine and severe brain damage.
A judge warned Boparan that he faced 14 years in prison if Cerys had died.