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GM to restart production in the US on May 18 'under extensive safety measures'

Posted at 4:49 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 18:08:53-04

General Motors is aiming to restart production in the United States and Canada later this month.

According to GM, they would like to restart the majority of manufacturing operations by May 18 "under extensive safety measures."

The company reported that its first-quarter net income fell 88%, but it still managed to make $247 million despite the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

GM said the measures come from what they learned from GM facilities in China, Korea, Kokomo, Indiana, Arlington, Texas and Warren.

"These procedures meet or exceed CDC and WHO guidelines, and are designed to keep people safe when they arrive, while they work and as they leave the facility," the company said.

GM has a new plan to help workers have confidence they will be kept safe on the job including being paid to stay home if they are exposed to COVID-19.

GM telling 7 Action News: "If an employee is identified through contact tracing completed by GM medical for potential exposure in the workplace, the employee will be paid in accordance with their regular schedule, up to 40 straight-time hours per week, for up to 14 days."

North American plants have been idle since mid-March, and thousands of workers in Michigan are eager to get back on the job.

FCA announced it wants plants back up and running May 18. Michigan’s current stay-at-home order in place through May 15.

The Big 3 are likely to have a similar re-start schedule, as their workers are all UAW members.

The UAW said it has had an ongoing dialogue with the Big 3 and the union's focus is on health and safety protocols.

View the full statement from UAW President Rory Gamble below:

As we stated yesterday in regard to FCA, the UAW has and continues to have dialogue with all of our employers and employment sectors about the safety and security surrounding reopening worksites.

In the case of the Big 3, through the Task Force we have had an ongoing dialogue and we have supported a number of measures put in place to address Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines from GM, FCA and Ford to protect our health and safety in the plant. Our volunteer members and the companies have done great work to reconfigure plants to achieve this safety goal.

We continue to advocate for as much testing as possible at the current time and eventually full testing when available.

As for the start date, the companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come at some point. Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be, on health and safety protocols to protect our members.

My own family will be among those that will be reporting and my responsibility to our UAW members and my family will be consistent. We must implement and follow these guidelines and self-reporting procedures we have worked out. And the UAW will fulfill its role to continue to actively monitor and aggressively respond regarding all issues impacting the health and safety of UAW members in whatever manner may be necessary as we return to the worksite.

Ford has yet to announce a formal restart date.

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