Media Moves

Ford shuts two factories on new Covid-19 cases

May 21, 2020

Posted by Irina Slav

Ford suspended production at two factories after workers tested positive for Covid-19.

CNN’s Chris Isidore reported:

Just days after reopening its American assembly plants, Ford temporarily shut down two separate factories because employees tested positive for Covid-19.

One plant in Chicago that builds the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator and the Ford Interceptor police car stopped operations Tuesday afternoon after two employees tested positive for Covid-19. Then, Ford’s plant in Dearborn Michigan that makes its bestselling F-150 pickup, shut down Wednesday.

Both plants, as well as other Ford plants across four Midwest states — restarted production Monday after suspending production for about two months because of health concerns.

The Detroit Free Press’ Phoebe Wall Howard wrote:

“They sent everybody home,” said a UAW worker who asked not to be named for fear of disciplinary action. “We probably got 800 people there. After lunch, everybody got sent home. They had people start cleaning.”

This is the second plant shutdown in two days at Ford because of UAW employees testing positive for the coronavirus, the first being Chicago Assembly on Tuesday. Dearborn Truck builds the bestselling Ford F-150. Chicago Assembly builds the Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor SUV and Lincoln Aviator.

“The safety of our workforce is our top priority,” Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and communications manager, said in a prepared statement.

Keith Noughton from Bloomberg noted:

The company is working through the kinks of resuming output at its North American factories this week after idling them for two months to slow the spread of the virus. In each case, Ford said it conducted a deep cleansing of the afflicted employees’ work areas and sent anyone who came in close contact with them home to quarantine for two weeks. The hiccups haven’t led so far to a multi-day closure, as both the SUV and truck factories are scheduled to resume output later Wednesday.

“We’re all figuring this out together,” said spokeswoman Kelli Felker. “The most important thing is that we protect our employees’ safety, and that is exactly what we’re doing.”


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