Union Asks for Plant Closure as GM, Ford Workers Contract Coronavirus

WARREN, MI - FEBRUARY 22: United Auto Workers members hold a prayer vigil at the General Motors Warren Transmission Operations Plant on February 22, 2019 in Warren, Michigan. Almost 300 people are being laid off at the plant as a result of GM's decision to idle the Warren facility. (Photo …
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union is asking Ford, General Motors (GM), and Fiat Chrysler to temporarily close their plants to protect American workers from contracting the coronavirus.

UAW leaders are in talks with executives at Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler to either temporarily close their plants across the country or considerably cut back on production to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

On the table is an option to close auto plants for two weeks so that workers can quarantine, socially distance, and take further precautions.

While the UAW negotiates future production with the nation’s three largest automakers, an American worker at GM’s Warren Technical Center outside Detroit, Michigan has tested positive for coronavirus. The Warren plant employs about 20,000 Americans.

“Our thoughts are with our member and their family, coworkers and friends at GM’s Warren Technical Center, who rightfully are worried about their loved one’s health and their exposure to Coronavirus,” UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement.

“It is important that our members are quarantined in accordance with [CDC] guidelines,” Dittes said. The UAW is working with GM to inform any members who should be in quarantine.”

Similarly, a Ford employee in Dearborn, Michigan has tested positive for coronavirus. Executives said the employee had not been at work since first being exposed to the Wuhan, China-originated virus and thus no other Ford employees are at risk.

There are now more than 5,300 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 100 deaths.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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