Three of America’s largest automakers have agreed to institute a rotating partial shutdown of production facilities amid the coronavirus outbreak, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union said.
The union announced it had reached a deal with General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler for the companies to “review and implement” a rotating partial shutdown of facilities, deep cleaning of facilities and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus among workers.
“We spent hours tonight in talks with the leadership of the Big 3, demanding that they do the right thing for our members. All three companies have agreed to new measures that will increase adherence to [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendations on social distancing in the workplace,” the UAW said in a statement.
Immediate details on when the "rotating partial shutdown" would begin were not available. The union said it expects “more detailed information to be released in the next 24 hours” and that the companies “have also agreed to work with us in Washington, D.C., on behalf of our members as we manage the disruption in the industry.”
“In order to enact these changes, each company will be working with UAW Vice Presidents to implement these improvements and most importantly arranging shifts to be set to adhere to CDC required social distancing and protection of members,” the union said.
Ford said in a statement to CNBC that "the health and safety of our workforce is our top priority. We’re working closely with the UAW and are aiming to announce details in the next 24 hours.”
GM told The Hill it did not plan to issue a statement Tuesday night. Fiat Chrysler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The reported deal comes after the Detroit automakers announced new telework policies for some employees but said other employees in the plants had to report to work.
UAW President Rory Gamble had pressed the car companies to halt production for 14 days and gave them a 48-hour window to craft a deal with the union.