DETROIT – Executives from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, UAW officials and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have discussed a tentative date for reopening the state’s auto plants.
Initially, officials were targeting early May, but that was vetoed by the United Automobile Workers union. Now, May 18 is the target date.
FCA officials picked May 18 during a Tuesday conference call while discussing their losses of nearly $2 billion in the second quarter. Ford and General Motors haven’t officially stated a date yet.
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May 18 is past the current stay-at-home order, and FCA has been in talks with UAW officials about the reopen date.
“We continue to advocate for as much testing as possible at the current time and eventually full testing when available,” UAW President Rory Gamble said. “As for the start date, the companies contractually make that decision, and we all knew this day would come. Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be on health and safety protocols to protect our members.”
The dates are tentative, but automotive companies are making it clear they need to get up and running. They’re working on new safety measures for when that time comes. That will change the way they do business and the way the entire industry operates.