It seems as each day passes, the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States grows. Across the nation government leaders are urging people to practice social distancing in an attempt to slow transmission of the virus, going as far as closing schools and limiting access to business. While many people have been asked to work from home, Detroit’s auto workers are still on the line. FCA faced another brief walkout of employees this morning over fears of the pandemic. According to a report by The Detroit News, 17 workers walked out of FCA’s Ram truck plant this morning before returning early this afternoon.
The employees worked in the paint shop, though production of the Ram Classic pickup was not affected according to the report. This marks the second time in the past few days that employees have walked out of an FCA production facility over fears of the coronavirus, following an incident at the Windsor Assembly Plant on Thursday.
This walkout of the Ram truck plant and the Windsor plant comes as FCA shutters production facilities across Europe over concerns surrounding the pandemic, including six in Italy, one in Serbia and one in Poland. The facilities are slated to reopen on March 27th following revisions to production plans within the plants. At this time there are no plans to enact similar precautionary measures here in the United States.
The main goal for Detroit’s automakers right now is to try and ensure that the companies remain operational during this time period, and have come together to figure out an amicable solution. That said, the growing concern among employees who remain at work right now is understandable. Tensions have to be especially high as the companies have already asked a large number of their employees to work offsite in the name of safety, along with the slew of restrictions hitting Michigan businesses this week. As the situation continues to unfold here in the States, the automakers may be forced to take more extreme actions here as well.