FLINT (WJRT) (5/18/2020) - The Big Three automakers are back at work.
General Motors reopened its Flint manufacturing complex on Monday while Ford and Fiat Chrysler also resumed production across North America nearly two months after they closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
General Motors employees in Flint left the plants on March 19. Some limited operations, including Customer Care and Aftersales facilities in Burton and Swartz Creek, continued during the shutdown.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allowed manufacturing to resume in Michigan with the third extension of her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, which was announced on May 7.
The Burton facility resumed full operations last week. On Monday, the following plants also reopened:
-- Bay City Powertrain.
-- Flint Assembly,
-- Flint Engine Operations.
-- Saginaw Metal Casting Operations.
Employees will receive safety orientation about preventing the spread of coronavirus in the plants and work with a number of new safety procedures put in place at each facility.
Whitmer is requiring manufacturers to maintain social distancing between employees whenever possible and provide personal protection equipment for workers in close proximity with each other.
Plants have limited points of entry and all employees get a daily screening when they report for work, including temperature screenings and a questionnaire asking about potential symptoms or exposure to coronavirus patients.
The United Auto Workers collaborated with all three Detroit automakers on instituting health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the job.
Ford will be testing workers who show symptoms of coronavirus in Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois. They should have test results back in 24 hours.
Ford plans to ask anyone who interacted with a person who tests positive to self-quarantine for 14 days. The company also will check temperatures and make employees wear masks.
President Donald Trump is planning to visit Ford's Rawsonville plant near Ypsilanti on Thursday to thank workers for making ventilators and personal protection equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.