Ford calls for some workers to return in preparation of future restart date

Posted at 4:23 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 19:54:59-04

(WXYZ) — Some hourly and salaried workers with Ford Motor Company will return to work this week in preparation for a full restart of production at a future, undeclared date, a spokeswoman confirmed to 7 Action News Sunday.

"These workers will begin putting safety protocols in place that we will use when we do reopen our facilities," wrote Hallie Robinson, a Ford spokeswoman, in an email to 7 Action News.

Ford plants have been shut down since March in response to growing concerns over the coronavirus.

Robinson added that both Ford and UAW have been working closely to create initiatives that will keep workers safe when the plants restart production. Further details on that will be released at a later time.

The group that's returning to work the week of April 27 will be following the below protocols:

  • Daily health and wellness self-certification
  • Temperature screening
  • Face masks will be required in Ford facilities. If employees’ jobs do not allow them to socially distance, they will be required to wear safety goggles with side shields or a face shield.

Brian Rothenberg provided a statement on behalf of the UAW on Ford's plant preparation, saying"

“While we do not have a date that Ford will resume production, the UAW remains committed to our position that the health and safety of members, their families and our communities are the primary determinant of when that can occur.

Ford has requested paid volunteers to help prepare plants for the new health and safety protocols that meet CDC and WHO guidelines. The UAW is committed to making sure that those voluntarily working members have strict adherence to health and safety protocols as they perform this work to prepare plants for an eventual reopening.”

Last week General Motors announced plans to restart auto plants amid the coronavirus health crisis, saying that safety procedures are in place to protect autoworkers from the spread of the virus.

That protocol includes temperature screenings, an orientation with social distancing, and a walk through of a wind chamber to blow off any dust and debris from the outside.

UAW President Rory L. Gamble spoke out against automotive plants working toward a May 1 reopening saying, "At this point in time, the UAW does not believe the scientific data is conclusive that it is safe to have our members back in the workplace. We have not done enough testing to really understand the threat our members face. We want to make sure the scientific data is supportive and every possible health protocols and enhanced protections are in place before UAW members walk into the workplace."

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