Health and wellbeing retail chain, Holland & Barrett has kept its shops open during the coronavirus crisis as normal – however, staff are now campaigning for the firm to shut due to the risks to themselves and their families.
Holland & Barrett has more than 700 stores across Britain and has remained open as its is classed as an essential retailer. This is because it caters for people with special dietary needs.
Staff at the retailer have now set up a petition, asking the firm’s management to close its stores.
The petition has almost 5,000 signatures – it’s initial target.
Should @holland_barrett close their stores to protect their staff?
— Business Leader (@BLeaderNews) April 8, 2020
A statement by current employees read: “Holland and Barrett is currently being seen as an essential company because we sell food that caters for those with dietary requirements. However, these past couple of weeks has been very difficult for my fellow colleagues and I.
“Being on the front lines, dealing with customers day in and day out, increases the chances of the virus spreading rapidly. The company has not been providing us hand washes, anti-bacterial gels and other form of protection to reduce the chance of catching the virus. The stores need to be closed, so we not only keep ourselves safe but also the nation. All we want, is to be safe and be with our loved ones during this period of crisis.
“Many of us travel to work using the public transport which is dangerous enough as it is. We are surrounded by those who are most at risk when using the public transport, this includes the elderly, pregnant women, people with HIV, asthma etc. We deal with a variety of customers every day including the customers who are most at risk. It is our job as a society to protect those who are vulnerable and close the stores so we have a better chance in preventing coronavirus from spreading.
“Please close the stores, to prevent many more lives at risk and many more deaths.”