Tags: Coronavirus | gm | ford | coronavirus | automakers

Help Wanted: GM, Ford Reporting Shortages Over Coronavirus

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By    |   Tuesday, 14 July 2020 06:28 PM

General Motors and Ford are having trouble keeping autoworkers on the job while coronavirus cases continue to surge, forcing them to hire new employees, transfer some current ones, and to cut shifts, causing them difficulty in returning to normal production levels following their two-month shutdown earlier this year. 

At GM's assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, the company has cut back to two shifts, after running three shifts in hopes of restocking midsize pickup trucks, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“In the short term, a two-shift operating plan will allow us to operate as efficiently as possible and accommodate team members who are not reporting to work due to concerns about COVID-19,” a company spokesman said in an email. 

At Ford, absences have been increasing among its approximately 12,500 workers who are split between two assembly plants in Louisville, Kentucky as well, company officials said.

Instead of cutting shifts, Ford hired more than 1,000 temporary workers since May, Todd Dunn, president of the United Auto Workers chapter representing workers at the plants, commented. 

“We would definitely have lost production, period,” without the new employees, Dunn said. 

“When they said it was a pandemic, it sure as hell didn’t sound like it was going to be easy. It’s just really severe working conditions.”

New COVID cases have tripled in the past two weeks in St. Charles County where the GM plant is located, and around two dozen plant employees have tested positive since May, when the plant went back online.

Despite the shortages, the companies say they plan to continue truck production through this summer after output was down by 60% from April through June. 

The plants have also suffered through supply-chain disruptions, more temporary shutdowns, and worker absences, and workers have asked that the plants close after positive cases are reported. 

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General Motors and Ford are having trouble keeping autoworkers on the job while coronavirus cases continue to surge, forcing them to hire new employees, transfer some current ones, and to cut shifts, causing them difficulty in returning to normal production...
gm, ford, coronavirus, automakers
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2020-28-14
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 06:28 PM
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