Green MSP Ross Greer has hit out at bosses across the West of Scotland who forced their staff to travel and work during the severe weather.
Last week’s ‘Beast from the East’ storm resulted in an unprecedented red weather alert being issued by the Met Office across much of Scotland, along with prolonged amber warnings.
Greer claims that in spite of these warnings, some employers required their staff to work as normal, in some cases issued threats of docked wages or even dismissal after he was contacted by workers and in some cases, concerned relatives.
Last week, Mr Greer said he engaged with delivery company Deliveroo, requesting that they follow police requests to avoid unnecessary travel by closing their service in Renfrewshire and across all red and amber warnings areas to avoid putting riders at unnecessary risk.
The company has come under criticism from the MSP with claims that Deliveroo not only continued their service but took steps to put more riders out in adverse conditions with a £1 per delivery bonus.
Deliveroo denies this happened and claim that they did, in fact, close their service during the extreme weather.
Ross Greer, said: “The warnings and advice from the Met Office and the Transport Minister last week were crystal clear – do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Whilst many responsible employers did close or make other arrangements for their staff, too many seemed to think they knew better than the Met Office and required their staff to put their lives, and others, at risk in order to travel in treacherous conditions.
“In one instance a local restaurant compelled staff to turn up for a shift beginning just as the red warning came into effect, ending their shift late at night, in the worst of the weather, with no public transport running and roads impassable. This is breathtakingly irresponsible.”
Ross has been particularly critical of delivery services, adding: “If the safety of Deliveroo riders is of paramount importance, then as a responsible business, they should have immediately suspended in all areas affected by severe weather warnings but instead they took steps to actively encourage workers out into potentially dangerous conditions.
“This whole episode has been a stark reminder of the exploitation many workers suffer from, particularly in the so-called gig economy and in the hospitality sector.”
West of Scotland MSP Greer has written to a number of local employers about their ‘irresponsible behaviour’ and to remind them of the duty of care they have towards their staff.
In a topical question to the Deputy First Minister, he also urged the Scottish Government to defend the rights of workers during extreme weather conditions.