The halting of car production in North America has begun.
“Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will close all of their factories due to worker fears about the coronavirus, sources tell 7 Action News.
According to Ford, they will suspend production at all manufacturing sites in North America through March 30 to clean its facilities and protect its workforce. It will start after Thursday evening shifts, and it’s not clear when or how long FCA and GM will close plants for.
‘We’re continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to find ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe – even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles customers really want and need,’ said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America. ‘In these unprecedented times, we’re exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities.’
General Motors will also suspend production until at least March 30 for deep cleaning, and production status will be reevaluated every week after that.
‘GM and the UAW have always put the health and safety of the people entering GM plants first, and we have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus,’ said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. ‘We have been taking extraordinary precautions around the world to keep our plant environments safe and recent developments in North America make it clear this is the right thing to do now. I appreciate the teamwork of UAW President Rory Gamble, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes and local leadership as we take this unprecedented step.’
‘Today’s action is the prudent thing to do. By taking a shutdown and working through next steps, we protect UAW members, their families and the community,’ said Rory Gamble, president of the UAW. ‘We have time to review best practices when the plants reopen, and we prevent the possible spread of this pandemic. We commend Ford for working with us and taking this bold step.'”
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