A CAR parts factory has a number of staff at home self-isolating after about 15 workers tested positive for coronavirus.

Officials from the Unite union have reported an outbreak at the Sunderland factory of automotive parts manufacturer Unipres, which supplies a number of major car firms including Honda, Nissan and Renault.

Unite regional officer Nick Halton said: “Around 15 Unipres workers have tested positive for coronavirus and a number of staff are self-isolating.

“The health and safety of our members is Unite’s top priority and the union is working with Unipres to ensure everything possible is done to contain the outbreak and keep staff safe.

“The company has been diligent in implementing a number of measures to prevent transmission occurring, including installing sanitising stations, requiring the wearing of masks and social distancing and staggering shift start and finish times.

"However, Unite has identified areas for improvement.

“We have raised formal concerns with the company over the continued use of a biometric system used for clocking in and the fact staff can only use one entrance to enter the site, both of which we believe present unnecessary risks.

“Unite will continue to closely monitor the site’s safety regime and impress the importance of it being strictly followed. We will not hesitate to hold Unipres to account if staff safety is being compromised.”

The company has been contacted for a comment.