Ford Dearborn truck plant workers return after UAW files grievance over safety protocols

Posted at 6:55 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 06:55:18-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Employees are returning to work at Ford's Dearborn truck plant Tuesday morning, despite a grievance filed against the company.

The UAW is claiming unsafe work conditions; after the grievance was filed, 20 people had to be quarantined.

Upon workers returning last week for the first time in months, the UAW says two people tested positive for COVID-19. This occurred after the UAW filed a grievance, warning Ford it was too early to start back up.

The union says it wants the plant shut down until workers can get full and regular testing.

The UAW also wants to allow for an extra 20 minutes of break time, as it says work is more difficult having to wear masks on the assembly line.

For every positive COVID-19 result, the union wants the plan shut down for a 24-hour deep cleaning.

"The assembly plant where we work at, there's no way to really socially distance very well," said UAW Bargaining Committeeman Gary Walcowicz. People are in close contact with each other on the job for up to 10 hours a day and I think it's really dangerous to put people in that situation."

If Ford rejects the grievance, the UAW says it will escalate the complaint to the international union.

Ford told 7 Action News that the safety of its workforce is the top priority, and its safety protocol continues to evolve as more is learned about the disease.

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