United Auto Workers (UAW) employees who are returning to work at manufacturing facilities and warehouses for Detroit’s Big-3 automakers this morning are waking up to the news that they will be required to wear face masks once again regardless of vaccination status. A decision was made Tuesday by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Task Force, which is made up of leaders from Ford Motor Company, General Motors (GM), Stellantis, and the UAW.
The Joint Task Force was formed in March of last year, during the early stages of the pandemic to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.
The mask mandate is a response to the updated Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) workplace standards which were just rolled out on Monday, to help battle the new Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
“The Task Force met and, after reviewing the recently changed CDC guidelines and community COVID-19 trends, decided it is best for worker safety to resume wearing masks in all worksites,” an official press statement from the UAW released on Tuesday said. “While we know that masks can be uncomfortable, the spread of the Delta variant and recent data outlining the alarmingly high rate of transmission among those unvaccinated is a serious health threat.”
There was a lot of feedback on social media from UAW employees on various UAW-related accounts regarding the decision. Comments ranged from employees being upset that they were promised a return to normality if they had taken the vaccine, to others saying that it was something that they saw happening anyways despite getting vaccinated.
The UAW also pushed for more employees to get vaccinated in their official statement on the decision. “We know that the best way to fight this virus is by getting vaccinated. The Task Force is strongly encouraging all members, coworkers, and their families to roll up their sleeves so we can move more quickly on once again relaxing mask protocols. The more our members, coworkers, and their families are vaccinated, the quicker we can vanquish this deadly pandemic,” the statement said.
Source: UAW & WXYZ Detroit