Detroit — The UAW and Detroit 3 on March 15 said they have formed a joint task force to increase safety and health protections for factory employees and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The task force will be made of all three automaker CEOs, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, UAW President Rory Gamble and all three UAW vice presidents, as well as medical staffs and the manufacturing and labor leadership teams at all three companies. The task force will work to coordinate enhanced visitor screening, increased cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and touch points and safety protocols for people with potential exposure, as well as for those who exhibit flu-like symptoms, at manufacturing facilities across the country.
"Workplace health and safety is a priority for us every day; all three companies have been taking steps to keep the COVID-19/coronavirus out of their facilities and during this national emergency, we will do even more working together," Gamble said in a statement. "We are focused on doing the right thing for our people, their families, our communities and the country. All options related to protecting against exposure to the virus are on the table."
In a joint statement, the CEOs of General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said: "This is a fluid and unprecedented situation, and the task force will move quickly to build on the wide-ranging preventive measures we have put in place. We are all coming together to help keep our work forces safe and healthy."
The task force will focus on vehicle production plans, additional social distancing, break and cleaning schedules, health and safety education, health screening, food service and any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees, the union said.