Major US car makers have joined a coronavirus task force. The goal of this task force is to combat the spread of COVID-19. General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are teaming up with the United Auto Workers (UAW) for this purpose. They announced this collaboration in a joint statement that is available on all of their websites.
An Unprecedented Situation
UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and FCA CEO Michael Manley will lead the task force.
“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 workforce safe and healthy,” they said.
Gamble also had this to say with regard to why they formed this task force, “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.”
A National Emergency
US President Donald Trump has already declared the coronavirus epidemic to be a national emergency. GM, Ford and FCA for their part have already restricted both international and domestic travel for their employees. They’ve also already advised non-factory workers to work from home.
It’s the management of the factory workers themselves where this becomes a tricky balancing act.
On the one hand, doctors are advising people to avoid public gatherings to control the virus’ spread. On the other hand, production work conducted in factories needs the presence of people at the location itself.
Measure To Prevent Coronavirus Spread
They have taken certain measures to prevent the spread of this disease, while also allowing work to continue. According to their statement, “All three companies and the UAW are working to coordinate action to prevent the spread of 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 statement further adds that the joint task force’s areas of focus will be quite diverse. Vehicle production plans, additional social distancing, break and cleaning schedules, health and safety education, health screening, food service are all within its scope.
It also says that they will look at any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees.