As the economic effects of the coronavirus continue to stifle industry, General Motors sent out notifications to United Auto Worker at some production facilities that the company is aiming to reopen May 18, according to The Detroit News. The message about bringing people back to work amid the pandemic came before General Motors announced their first quarter earning reports today, showing tremendous losses compared to this time last year.
In the message sent to UAW employees, GM states that the company is aiming to reopen specific factories in a limited and cadenced way, in an attempt to limit the risk to North American workers. This came after the UAW made it clear that they did not want their employees back on the production line until more testing could be made available. However, with General Motors posting a net profit of just $294 million during the past quarter, a down 86.7% from a total of $2.1 billion last year, it is no surprise the company wants to get back to work. Their North American production facilities have been offline since mid-March.
In order to be able to start production on May 18, General Motors stated that a select number of facilities will begin ramping up next week. There is no word yet as to which facilities will be going online first.
Fiat Chrysler also stated Tuesday that they would like to restart production in a limited capacity on May 18 as well. Ford has not yet made a statement on their return date goal, though The Detroit News reported earlier that all three companies were working to select that date together. With Michigan’s stay at home order officially extended until May 28, some auto workers may be hesitant to return to work despite their newly exempt status under the order.