General Motors executives have finally done the sales and public health math and listened to the UAW and Unifor labor groups and confirmed it will begin a systematic suspension of manufacturing operations in North America due to market conditions and to deep clean facilities and continue to protect people. The suspension will last until at least March 30. Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that.
“UAW members, their families and our communities will benefit from today’s announcement with the certainty that we are doing all that we can to protect our health and safety during this pandemic,” said UAW President Rory Gamble. “This will give us time to review best practices and to prevent the spread of this disease. We appreciate General Motors’ actions today and will continue to work with them on health and safety plans to be implemented when we resume production.”
Jerry Dias, President, Unifor says, “This pandemic has front-line workers bearing the weight a chronically underfunded health care system, making us all vulnerable. Our opportunity – to which governments must rise – is to invest in programs and infrastructure to strengthen our ability to stand strong in the face of whatever crisis comes next.” Unifor has launched a hub for member information about the pandemic at unifor.org/COVID19 and encourages members to check the site regularly for updates.
To ensure that North American production stops in a safe and orderly fashion, plants will suspend operations in a cadence, with each facility receiving specific instructions from manufacturing leadership.