Detroit Automakers To Remain Open, Take Extra Measures Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

There will be rotating partial shutdowns of facilities.

WWJ News
March 17, 2020 - 10:47 pm
UAW President Rory Gamble

© Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Despite calls from the UAW to shut down amid the new coronavirus pandemic, Detroit's three automakers agreed late Tuesday night to remain open, while announcing some big changes in the way they operate.

Employees at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler plants will continue to work during the outbreak, but officials will also be trying to find ways to separate workers more, according to WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert. The changes will include rotating partial shutdowns of facilities, extended periods between shifts so they can do more sanitizing of equipment, and more rotation of shifts. 

The news comes after executives with the three companies met with UAW officials Tuesday evening to discuss procedures moving forward. Union president Rory Gamble had been calling for all facilities to shut down for two weeks. 

The union and top automaker executives announced on Sunday they had formed a task force to coordinate dealing with the rapidly evolving virus situation.

The automakers say they've taken unprecedented measures to keep workers safe.

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