Unite Scotland has today (15 May) welcomed the news that the Motherwell based firm Honeywell has been contracted by the UK government to produce more than 70 million face masks creating around 450 jobs.

The masks are to be distributed to frontline workers such as those in the NHS and care homes all over the UK with production scheduled to start in July. The workers will be making FFP2 and FFP3 masks of the highest standard which are medical-grade face covers. 

 Last week a deal was also agreed to manufacture personal protective equipment for health and care workers in Scotland at the firm Don and Low. The Forfar based firm will supply about 2.8 million square metres of the base material required for non-sterile gowns.

The recent announcements follow pressure from Unite Scotland that the Scottish and UK governments should be identifying domestically based firms to manufacture personal protective equipment to prevent any escalation in the Covid-19 crisis.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “The news that 450 new jobs will be created at Honeywell is extremely welcome. Unite Scotland has been campaigning to ensure that domestically based firms can start manufacturing personal protective equipment to assist in the fight against Covid-19. More needs to be done by the Scottish and UK governments to identify other firms that can immediately begin this work, but this is a major step in the right direction.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.