WARREN, Mich. – After nearly two months, the Big Three will restart production Monday and thousands of line workers will be back on the job.
It won’t be business as usual -- GM, Ford and FCA have implemented new safety procedures to limit the possibility of COVID-19 exposure.
Just hours before autoworkers get ready to report, Ford announced President Donald Trump will be paying a visit to its Ypsilanti plant. Trump is expected to speak at the facility which had been converted to produce ventilators to help fight against coronavirus.
Extensive safety protocols are being used at every plant. Workers on the assembly line will be covered in PPE and standing further apart now more than ever because of social distancing. Workers at Ford will be subject to a no-touch temperature scan.
“Epidemiologist are telling us this is one of the biggest issues that we’ve got to pay attention to,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “Because we have these huge factories, I’m talking about 2-3 million square feet of space, there’s a lot of room to actually think about doing this the right way.”
At GM, several similar protocols have been put into place. There will also be more time in between shifts to allow disinfecting and face shields or masks will be required as well.
At Fiat-Chrysler, thousands of work-stations have already been redesigned to make things safer. Thermal imaging cameras have also been installed to verify everyone’s body temperature.
The UAW released the following statement Sunday:
- Metro Detroit autoworkers return to work Monday with safety measures in place
- Auto workers’ tenuous return a ray of hope in jobs crisis
- Ford plans to resume operations, production on May 18
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reopens manufacturing, including Big 3 automakers
- Fiat Chrysler CEO expects all plants in North American to reopen within weeks