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Ford F 150 Dearborn Bill Pugliano Getty

Update: Citing coronavirus concerns, Big 3 temporarily shut down plants

March 18, 2020
The two sides had briefly agreed come to keep the plants open with new preventative measures instituted that emphasize sanitation and social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.

UPDATE: As of March 18, Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler have agreed to suspend production until at least March 30.

The UAW, which had “strongly requested” that the automaking Big 3 – Ford, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler – stop production for two weeks to prevent union members from contracting COVID-19, has gotten what its members have asked for: a temporary production shutdown.

The two sides had briefly agreed come to keep the plants open with new preventative measures instituted that emphasize sanitation and social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.

“GM and the UAW have always put the health and safety of the people entering GM plants first, and we have agreed to a systematic, orderly suspension of production to aid in fighting COVID-19/coronavirus,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “We have been taking extraordinary precautions around the world to keep our plant environments safe and recent developments in North America make it clear this is the right thing to do now.

Prior to the March 17 meeting, a joint UAW-GM-Ford-FCA COVID-19 Coronavirus Task Force was created to slow the outbreak that had shut down regions in China, Italy and Spain, canceled large gatherings worldwide and decimated the economy. FCA had also closed its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan, where the RAM 1500 is assembled after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Ford has also ceased production at its continental Europe sites, as have truck OEMs Daimler, Volkswagen and Renault.

Despite the UAW and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who the UAW said was 'instrumental' in the agreement, lauding the agreement reached on March 17, UAW members were not as amenable.

Here are some comments under Gov. Whitmer’s congratulatory tweet, many by alleged UAW members, who were largely against the decision. Here is a sample:

More COVID-19 information can be found on the UAW website.

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Fleet Owner Staff

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