General Motors coronavirus shutdown: Info on plant suspension length, employee compensation

Big 3 automakers suspend production at plants

General Motors

DETROIT – Officials with General Motors have released information regarding employee compensation during the coronavirus shutdown and how long plants will be closed.

GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler announced Wednesday that they would be shutting down their plants to help slow the spread of the virus.

A Ford employee working in Dearborn tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week, health officials said. The employee works in product development in Building 5 in Dearborn, according to Ford. The case was confirmed on Monday.

Shutdown length

GM officials said the plants are closed for a deep cleaning. The United Auto Workers’ union was concerned about the possible spread of the virus as employees worked in close quarters.

The suspension will last until at least March 30, the companies announced.

“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,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

After March 30, production status will be evaluated on a week-by-week basis, according to officials.


Local 4 has also learned that GM employees will be compensated in some way during the shutdown.

Specific details of the compensation have not been worked out, as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, but automakers are working with the UAW to come to an agreement.

“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,” UAW President Rory Gamble said. “This will give us time to review best practices and to prevent the spread of this disease. We appreciate General Motors’ actions today and will continue to work with them on health and safety plans to be implemented when we resume production.”

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