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Why some auto workers are still reporting despite plant closures

Some workers are still reporting to work despite the Big Three plant closures.

DETROIT – Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler announced Wednesday they plan to close their plants due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Thursday morning, many workers still showed up to work, but why?

The Big Three announced the temporary closures, but there’s some confusion as to why some people still worked.

It takes time to close down an auto assembly plant -- especially when they aren’t expecting it to happen.

At Orion Assembly, workers finished their shifts at about 2:30 p.m. and that’s it. They’ll be finished and off Friday as well. Some skilled trades people might be brought into the plant to do some work during the closure.

GM said the company is staggering shut down and that most plants will be closed by Friday night.

A plant in Arlington, Texas was already expected to close due to a vehicle changeover. Workers will work until maybe Wednesday and then close down for several months.

Ford Motor Company said each plant has different operations and employees need to understand they might be called in. The last shift of tonight will end at about 2 a.m. and the plants will be closed until March 30.

FCA said nearly all their plants have ceased production, but it’s standard practice to call in help for a shutdown and it can take two or three days to close up.

Workers have to make sure equipment doesn’t get damaged in the process of closure.

Some of the closed GM and Ford plants might be used to build ventilators for hospitals to use.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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