In Europe, manufacturers have begun shutting down their plants in line with government regulations and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the same can’t be said about the manufacturing plants in North America. Well, not yet at least, as they continue to remain open for the time being.
America’s big three automakers, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) together with the United Auto Workers (UAW) have created a task force to protect workers from the coronavirus. Furthermore, the UAW announced that the three automakers will be implementing new measures in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to protect the workforce from the disease.
Most importantly, however, all three automakers have agreed to implement a rotating partial shutdown of their plants and manufacturing facilities across North America. According to the UAW, “extensive deep cleaning of facility and equipment between shifts, extended periods between shifts, and extensive plans to avoid member contact” will be done by the automakers at their plants. Workers will also be on shift rotation in order to minimize risk, and social distancing will be observed in the workplace.
Full details regarding the rotating partial shutdowns of plants across North America are expected to be announced by the automakers tomorrow. However, the agreement is short of what the UAW originally wanted – full shutdown of plants for two weeks.
Considering the continuous spread of the coronavirus all over the world, it’s no surprise that manufacturers (and workers) are concerned about working. So far, nearly 200,000 people have been affected by the coronavirus worldwide and almost 8,000 deaths have been recorded.