3rd Aug, 2020

Mettis Aerospace implements a number of Covid-19 measures amid backlash

Harry Leach 8th Apr, 2020 Updated: 9th Apr, 2020

METTIS Aerospace says it has gone ‘above and beyond’ requirements in its care for workers in the current coronavirus pandemic – despite some employees raising concerns over their health and safety.

The Windsor Road manufacturing giant recently came under scrutiny for remaining open during the pandemic and, according to workers, failing to provide enough sanitiser for employees to wash their hands.

A letter, seen by the Standard, was written on March 26 by a member of Unite – the union which represents Mettis workers.

It stated that ‘no education’ on Covid-19 was provided at the plant which therefore ‘put lives at risk’.

It questioned why a high percentage of production was being stockpiled if Mettis was required by the Ministry of Defence to keep on working.

A Mettis spokesperson told the Standard that a dedicated coronavirus response team has been established to ensure the welfare of all 540 workers during the pandemic.

This was reinforced by Mettis’ chief operating officer, Jeremy Cieslik, who said he holds daily ‘crisis meetings’ – with a Unite member present – to mitigate concerns and keep employees updated.

“The well being of my staff is absolutely paramount,” he said.

“We are going above and beyond what the Government has asked of us to make sure we keep everyone safe.

“We also have four permanent cleaners on site every day.

“We regularly send out texts updating employees on what is happening and we have litres upon litres of sanitiser available for everyone to use.”

A medical questionnaire was sent out to all employees two weeks ago and only two per cent out workers didn’t respond, said Mr Cieslik.

“I know exactly what medical issues my people have.

“We identified 80 people considered ‘high risk’ and so we spoke to those workers individually to find out how we could support them.

“Some were told to stop working and to instead go home and self-isolate.”

Mettis provides key commercial aerospace and defence programmes and has been advised to continue to operate.

Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “I have thanked Mettis for staying open because it is important that businesses continue to trade if they are legally able to do so.

“We need the economy to survive but all employers must be totally rigorous in ensuring that workers are able to work safely.

“Mettis are a key business for Redditch and our local economy, supplying a British success story, the aviation industry.”

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