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Ford suspends American production through March 30 due to coronavirus

Production at sites in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be affected.

After Thursday evening shifts, Ford will temporarily suspend production at manufacturing sites located in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. through March 30.

The automaker said they will “thoroughly clean its facilities to protect its workforce and boost containment efforts for the COVID-19 coronavirus“.

Roughly 4,100 people are hired at the Louisville Assembly Plant, with 3,900 hourly workers. Almost 9,000 workers work at the Kentucky Truck Plant, with over 8,620 of the hourly workers.

“We’re continuing to work closely with union leaders, especially the United Auto Workers, to discover ways to help keep our workforce healthy and safe – even as we look at solutions for continuing to provide the vehicles consumers really want and need,” stated Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America. 

Ford stated leaders will work with the United Auto Workers (UAW) on plant restart plans and procedures to avoid the spread of the virus, including social distancing among the workers.

Ford temporarily shut down the Michigan Assembly Plant final assembly building early March 18 after a worker tested positive for the COVID-19. MAP will stop production through March 30.

Furthermore, the company will tell people who have had direct contact with that infected worker to self-quarantine and get medical attention. Those who have had close contact with those who have had direct contact are told to watch for symptoms and look for medical attention if they are not feeling well.

The move to temporarily close plants comes after Sunday’s news that Ford leaders are forming a Coronavirus Task Force along with UAW, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler leaders to implement improved protections for manufacturing and warehouse workers at all three companies.

Ford vehicle manufacturing sites located in Germany and Romania will also temporarily stop production starting Thursday.

On Monday, Ford asked all salaried workers, except those in critical roles that can’t be done off site, to work remotely until next notice.

About 9,269 people in the United States have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed about 151 people in the country.

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