Food company Heinz is facing a series of staff treatment allegations after a whistleblower accused a recruitment agency – who have previously sourced staff for the Heinz complex in Wigan - of treating workers poorly – Wigan Today reported.
The worker, who has chosen to remain anonymous, revealed that because of the zero-hours contracts, people would arrive for their shift but were then turned away as they were no longer needed to work at the national distribution centre for the food giant in Kitt Green.
Despite the claims, PMP Recruitment Agency has denied the allegations and called it ‘unfounded’, the publication reported.
The whistleblower said: “It’s dreadful. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. It’s just awful.
“They are recruiting by the tens because the staff turnover is so bad.”
They also revealed that wages were being paid incorrectly, with the company allegedly making errors on how many days an employee had worked.
“They are not informing people of shift changes. Last week on Monday and Tuesday at 5.30am a number of people turned up and were turned away. They hadn’t been told they weren’t needed,” added the whistleblower.
“They also keep getting wages wrong and there’s then no way you can manage on the money you get to last you the week. Once I got paid for two days instead of the four I was owed. This sort of error is happening all the time.
“If you don’t work you don’t get paid. It’s just inhumane. How can you claim benefits for a couple of days if you’re not needed? People are not going to stay for the money if there’s no guarantee of work.”
In addition to these claims, employees have also noted that some have been driven to use foodbanks because they have such little wages.
A spokesperson from PMP Recruitment, commented: “We are disappointed to hear these allegations which we believe to be unfounded,” reported Wigan Today.
“We pay the national living wage to all the contractors at this site and on the rare occasion that there is a query it is resolved swiftly.
“Shifts are booked in advance and this is a guarantee of work and payment. Anyone turning up speculatively at the site would be turned away.
“We would like to remind our contractors that there are a number of channels available to them for raising any concerns including a confidential helpline.”
These recent accusations mirror a second ongoing dispute involving Randstad agency, in which leading union Unite has shared concerns over how workers are treated at the Heinz plant.