UAW Seeking Two Weeks Suspended Production to Protect Workers

A 48 hour period intended to allow GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to come with a counter-offer to the UAW’s expressed desire to stop production for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus is almost up.

The UAW said today that it asked the big three to suspend US production for two weeks to protect its workers during the global pandemic. The companies were unwilling to halt production, instead asking for an opportunity to come up with a plan to safeguard workers in its facilities, according to a letter to UAW members read by Reuters.

The letter said that the union will be evaluating what the companies propose today, but that it is willing to “use any and all measures to protect our brothers and sisters who are working in their facilities.”

The big three have already asked office workers to work from home in an attempt to prevent the further spread of coronavirus, but factory workers have so far been asked to continue showing up to factories.

Automotive plants across Europe are suspending work for two weeks as a response to the global pandemic and an FCA assembly plant in Canada had to halt production for 24 hours last Thursday, after employees refused to go to work on Thursday over fears that an employee has possibly been exposed to the virus.

The big three and the UAW set up a coronavirus Taskforce on Sunday to help mitigate the virus’s impact on employees and production but it may not be enough to prevent a rift between the union and the big three.