COVID-19 brings Windsor auto plants to a halt

Friday, 20 Mar, 2020

Likewise, BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse revealed "We began to shut down our European and Rosslyn automotive plants, which will close by the end of the week". The union, which represents auto workers, is calling on the companies to commit to full pay for workers during the temporary shutdown, whether unionized or not. The two checks combined will about equal what the workers normally make. Ford, for instance, is building up F-150 pickup inventory because its plants will have to go out of service later this year to be retooled for an all-new model. Production will be halted through March 30, the company said. One shift was sent home Tuesday night and the plant was cleaned.

Ford said it would close all its North American plants after Thursday evening's shifts through March 30 to thoroughly clean the factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico. "In these unprecedented times, we're exploring unique and creative solutions to support our workforce, customers, dealers, suppliers and communities". The planned reopening of those plants is April 6. Some companies agreed to cut overtime work to build space between shifts for added cleaning.

"Today's action is the prudent thing to do", Gamble said.

Rory Gamble, president of UAW, said that members of the union will benefit from the recent announcement.

A local infectious disease specialist told Deadline Detroit Tuesday that MI should be put on lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus. A GM spokesperson confirmed to the publication the automaker "is working to help find solutions for the nation during this hard time and has offered to help, and we are already studying how we can potentially support production of medical equipment like ventilators".

Since then, a worker at a Fiat Chrysler plant has tested positive for the virus causing for the closure of a plant in Sterling Heights earlier in the day Wednesday.

To ensure that production stops in a safe and orderly fashion, plants will suspend operations in a cadence, with each facility receiving specific instructions from manufacturing leadership.

Ford on Wednesday morning closed the final assembly building at its complex in Wayne, Michigan, where it builds the Ranger pickup truck and will assemble Bronco SUVs.

Seven Bay Area counties have ordered almost 7 million residents to shelter in place for three weeks and ordered businesses to send employees home in order to slow spread of the coronavirus.

Automakers on the COVID-19 task force on Sunday reportedly promised to work on ways to enhance social distancing in factories and implement health and safety education as well as screenings. "A decision regarding the resumption of operations will be made later today", the statement read.

Following the closure of auto factories by Ford, GM, FCA and Honda, another group of automakers is shutting down plants in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus threat.

· Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve. Each company has other reasons to stay open as well.