General Motors will begin ramping up its assembly plants in North America next week to resume production starting May 18.
In alerts sent to UAW members on Tuesday, which were obtained by the free press, assembly plant managers from GM Lansing Delta Township and Flint Assembly, Flint Engine Operations and Flint Metal Center said GM would publicly announce its restart date on Wednesday.
(Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)
The memos read as follows: “GM plans to begin a limited, timed and site-specific approach to returning to work in many of our manufacturing plants in North America. We are targeting Monday, May 18, and we are working with state governments and union partners. We are convinced that we have an approach that allows us to take the next phase with security as a guide. ”
A GM spokesperson declined to comment on the memos, but issued a statement saying, “We have communicated our target restart schedule to our employees and other key stakeholders. We will be sharing more information publicly tomorrow morning as part of our first quarter financial results communication. “
GM will release its first quarter results Wednesday morning before the markets open.
An UAW spokesperson said he was not aware of a final restart date.
In an earlier statement Tuesday, UAW President Rory Gamble said that the UAW has and continues to have discussions with all of its employers and employment sectors on safety and security surrounding the reopening of construction sites.
“In the case of the Big 3, through the working group, we had an ongoing dialogue and supported a number of measures put in place to meet the directives of the Center for Disease Control and the World Organization for the health of FCA, GM and Ford to protect our health and safety in the plant, “said Gamble. “Our volunteer members and the companies have done an excellent job of reconfiguring the factories to achieve this safety goal.”
The union recommends as many tests as possible and comprehensive tests when available.
Regarding the start date, Gamble said that the companies are making this decision contractually and that the union will continue to monitor health and safety protocols and respond aggressively to any issues affecting the health and safety of workers. members.
“My own family will be among those who will report and my responsibility to our UAW members and my family will be constant,” said Gamble. “We need to implement and follow these self-reporting guidelines and procedures that we have developed.”
GM idled all of its assembly plants in North America in March after the UAW urged it to shut down to protect workers from the growing threat of coronaviruses.
GM released a 48-page safety manual for the media on Friday outlining the specific steps it will take to keep workers safe. Some of these steps include taking body temperatures, hand disinfection, social distancing and offbeat changes to minimize contact with workers. GM is using many of these safety practices at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana, where it is currently building critical care ventilators for Ventec Life Systems.
GM also tested and refined its safety measures last month on 1,000 volunteers at the GM plant in Arlington, Texas, where it makes its full-size SUVs.
More: 1,000 GM employees in Texas have tested the automaker’s new COVID-19 safety protocols
In the alert to UAW members, GM plant managers said, “We have also worked with our supply base, including Mexico, to support our restart date. “
The US auto industry has sought to coordinate restart dates with Mexico given the dependence of the two countries in the auto parts supply chain.
Early Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced a restart of its manufacturing facilities in the United States for the week of May 18, with the exception of Belvidere Assembly in Illinois. Shortly after the FCA’s announcement, the Mexican president said he plans to start reopening the economy on May 17, according to Bloomberg.
More: The US auto industry is preparing for a restart – and it all depends on Mexico
Alerting workers, GM said that when the plans are finalized, it will share specific details for each of its factories and “what this means for our teams.” In the meantime, we will continue to focus on sharing our security protocols to make sure you understand how we are going to keep everyone safe. ”
Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Learn more about General Motors and sign up for our automotive newsletter.
Read or share this story: https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2020/05/05/gm-uaw-members-restart-production-dates/5173543002/