Yesterday, we talked about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and how the company was implementing new procedures for its Italian manufacturing plants. Now, last evening, the United Auto Workers (UAW) has confirmed that the first-known employee of a Detroit automaker to be diagnosed with the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) in the United States works at the FCA Kokomo Transmission Plant.
According to reports, the male employee at the Kokomo plant is currently quarantined and receiving medical care. FCA spokeswoman Jodi Tinson stated, “Consistent with CDC guidelines and the company’s own protocols, the company has placed into home quarantine his immediate co-workers and others in the facility he may have come into direct contact with,” said Tinson. “Additionally, the company has deep cleaned and disinfected his working area and is deploying additional sanitization measures across the entire facility, retiming break times to avoid crowding and deploying social spacing.”
Both FCA and the UAW have said they were working with local representatives at the plant to protect and monitor the other Kokomo plant.
FCA said that an undisclosed amount of others who may have come in direct contact with the infected person have also been quarantined for the time being. The UAW has released the following statement on its website regarding the situation…
“Our thoughts and support are with our UAW member and their family, friends, and community in Kokomo, Indiana. The UAW has been actively monitoring and reacting to issues related to the spread of COVID-19. We are working with FCA on this first discovery of the virus at one of their facilities as well as on the precautions and measures necessary to protect our UAW FCA members and everyone who works in our facilities.
Earlier this week, FCA issued communications to all employees on the company process for dealing with this pandemic. The UAW FCA department will continue communications with FCA on measures that may need to be taken as this very serious situation changes daily and hourly.
As a reminder to help do our part in this pandemic, we encourage all UAW members and others to wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer frequently, avoid touching the face and avoid contact with others within 2 to 3 feet, if possible. Anyone experiencing symptoms of a high fever, dry cough or illness, should take precautions and stay home.
We are in this in together in Solidarity.” – United Auto Workers (UAW)
Other reports that General Motors is not aware of any of their workers being infected with the coronavirus. Ford Motor Company has identified three of its non-domestic employees been infected. Two of those employees are located in China, while the other is from Germany according to a Ford spokesman.