COVID-19 Pandemic Halts GM Production
GM has decided to stop production at its facilities across North America until March 30 — and perhaps beyond — as a way to prioritize worker and customer safety as the COVID-19 virus continues its spread.
“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 Mary Barra, GM’s CEO and chairman. “We have been taking extraordinary precautions around the world to keep our plant environments safe, and recent developments in North America make it clear that this is the right thing to do now.”
“UAW members, their families, and our communities will benefit from today’s announcement with the certainty that we are doing all that we can to protect our health and safety during this pandemic,” added UAW President Rory Gamble. “This will give us time to review best practices and prevent the spread of this disease.”
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GM plant worker contracts COVID-19
At the automaker’s Flint Assembly truck plant, the timeline for this suspension was accelerated after an hourly employee tested positive for COVID-19.
According to The Detroit News, the Flint facility began to shut down production Thursday instead of the planned date of March 25. The infected employee hadn’t been to work since March 5, so a quarantine wasn’t required for any co-workers.
Earlier in March, an employee at the Warren Technical Center tested positive for the virus, but Flint’s was the first case discovered in a GM assembly plant.
GM says its facilities will pause production in a “cadence” instead of all at once. During this stoppage, plants will undergo extensive cleaning. After March 30, decisions about whether to restart production will be made on a week-to-week basis.
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A longtime editor/writer and recently transplanted Hoosier, Caleb Cook lives in Xenia, Ohio. His favorite activities are reading and listening to music, although he occasionally emerges from the heap of books and vinyl records in his basement to stand blinking in the sunlight. Once fully acclimated to the outside world again, he can be observed hanging out with his wife, attempting a new recipe in the kitchen, attending movies, walking the dog, or wandering into a local brewery to inquire about what’s on tap. See more articles by Caleb.