Autoworkers voice safety concerns as they prepare to return to work Monday

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 18:30:52-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — As thousands of autoworkers prepare to return to work Monday, many of them are concerned about staying safe when it comes to the novel coronavirus that has led to the deaths of nearly 90,000 people in the United States alone.

"With COVID-19, there's no room for error," said one veteran autoworker who is set to return to the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant on Monday.

"Our anxiety is pretty much through the roof," a Ford worker told 7 Action News on Friday. "We're very scared. Some of us not as scared as others. We don't know about the safety measures, if it's going to be enough to protect us."

After an incident this week at FCA in Sterling Heights, a question to find out if someone is waiting for results of a COVID-19 test has been added to the questionnaire that workers will fill out as they enter the plant.

We're told a worker returned last Monday with a cough she thought was related to allergies. She worked for three days before finding out she tested positive for COVID-19 and she was removed from the floor and told to quarantine for 14 days. Others who came in contact with that worker were also sent home to quarantine.

"To have this happen, it only creates more doubt about can they really keep us safe?" said one worker.

If a worker is a parent with child care issues because child care centers remain closed, the UAW said those members should contact their local union to work through this on a case by case basis.