DEARBORN, Mich. - Leaders from the United Auto Workers (UAW), Ford Motor Company, General Motors Co. (GM) and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) announced Sunday they are forming a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.
As part of this additional joint effort, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and President and CEO Jim Hackett, UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, and FCA CEO Michael Manley will lead the task force.
This builds on the actions Ford leaders already have been taking. We are continuing to act in real time to keep our people safe and help limit the spread of the virus in communities where we live and work.
To reduce risk and foster safety in all of our locations – including manufacturing environments – Ford has:
· Closely monitored and followed health and wellness guidance from global and national health experts
· Used a variety of means to educate people about coronavirus symptoms and preventive measures they can/should take – including postings in our facilities as well as sharing wellness tips across employee communications channels
· Provided additional supplies of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to be distributed throughout our facilities
· Increased cleaning / disinfecting frequency of hard surfaces, common areas, break rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms during each shift
· Encouraging greater “social spacing” where people would normally queue
· Suspending self-serve options in cafeterias (e.g., salad, soup and sandwich bars)
· Monitoring workplaces closely and, where necessary, applying the same emergency-response approach for all our people, in all locations, around the world:
o Possible symptoms – leave work, get medical attention
o Confirmed infection:
§ Instruct person to quarantine
§ People who have had direct contact with that person – self-quarantine, contact their personal health care provider
§ People with close contact to those who have had direct contact – remind them of and encourage them to watch for symptoms and contact their personal health care provider if they feel unwell
§ Close the infected facility for 24 hours to allow for cleaning/disinfecting
o If we confirm three infections in three days in the same facility, we would close the facility indefinitely so that its status can be assessed/rectified
· Restricted access to visitors from outside the company to Ford facilities, including requiring business-critical visitors to complete health and wellness screening documents before being allowed entry to Ford facilities
· Created and implemented a COVID-19 Coronavirus Planning Checklist for Plant Human Resources offices so related concerns are promptly elevated and addressed
The task force will be supported by:
· Terry Dittes, vice president, UAW-GM Department
· Gerald Kariem, vice president, UAW-Ford Department
· Cindy Estrada, vice president, UAW-FCA Department
· The medical staffs, and the manufacturing and labor leadership teams at all three companies
“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,” said Gamble, who convened the leaders of all three companies. “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 leaders of GM, Ford and FCA 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 workforces safe and healthy.”
All three companies and the UAW are working to prevent the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus, including enhanced visitor screening, increased cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and touch points, and implementing safety protocols for people with potential exposure, as well as those who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
The joint task force’s areas of focus will include 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.
As the joint task force identifies enhancements, each company, together with the UAW, will provide regular updates to the workers in their facilities.