Shopper says Wigan store is not doing enough to protect its staff from Covid-19

“Blue Peter” protective screens built by shop workers at a Wigan town centre store to protect themselves from Covid-19 have sparked fury.

Bargain Buys in Standishgate
Bargain Buys in Standishgate

Shopper Paul Boardman was outraged to see the makeshift structures cobbled together from cardboard and plastic in front of the tills at Bargain Buys on Standishgate.

It is claimed bosses have not provided money for robust personal protection equipment (PPE) so employees at the discount shop have had to improvise.

After a visit to the store Mr Boardman said: “They had been provided with no PPE and no gloves. They had to make Blue Peter protection from this coronavirus. What is going on?

The makeshift PPE in Bargain Buys, Standishgate

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“I just cannot get my head around it. It’s absolutely obscene.

“The screens kept falling over and they had to keep putting them back up. I asked where the proper protective things were and they said they couldn’t afford them.

“I’ve got a lot of family working in the NHS and my kids are on the front line for this. To see this in my home town is just disgusting. That shop is very busy, a lot of pensioners and people with not much money go in there.

“This just shouldn’t be happening, it’s all wrong. What matters more, the minimum wage or someone’s life?”

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The Standishate outlet is one of two Bargain Buys in the borough, the other being at the Robin Retail Park.

PPE has been a topic of fierce debate over the past few weeks of the coronavirus crisis, with Government ministers facing serious questions over how much vital kit had been stockpiled in preparation for a pandemic and whether front-line employees who need it are receiving enough of it and sufficiently quickly.

The Wigan Post has contacted the Poundstretcher retail group, which owns Bargain Buys, for a comment but has not yet received a response.

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