Skip to main content

FCA assembly workers arrive for an early morning shift at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Mich., on May 18, 2020.

REBECCA COOK/Reuters

In the week since U.S. auto factories reopened after coronavirus lockdowns, workers at all three Detroit automakers have tested positive for COVID-19, but only Ford Motor Co. has temporarily closed plants.

The U.S. auto industry reopened many plants last week after a two-month shutdown due to the global pandemic. To ensure safety during the outbreak, companies imposed new safety measures, including screening employees, use of face masks and physical distancing.

Ford paused production at its Claycomo, Mo., plant for an hour on Tuesday after a worker tested positive. Work resumed at the plant, which builds the F-150 pickup truck and Transit van, without workers being sent home following a deep cleaning, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said Wednesday.

Story continues below advertisement

General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) said Wednesday they have had workers test positive since the restart, but have not been forced to idle plants. They did not disclose the number of workers affected.

On Wednesday, a union leader at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant said on Twitter a worker there tested positive, but had not worked since May 21. Ms. Felker said the plant never closed.

Last week, Ford closed two assembly plants because of a positive test at its Dearborn, Mich., factory and a parts shortage due to a positive test at a supplier that closed the Chicago plant. It had marked the second consecutive day for closings in Chicago following two positive tests.

United Auto Workers Local 600, which represents hourly workers in Dearborn, last week demanded testing for every worker there and that Ford shut down the plant for 24 hours after a positive test. Ford said the safety of its workers is a top priority and cited the safety measures it has developed in conjunction with the UAW.

In Mexico, Ford told workers it was targeting a May 28 restart at its Hermosillo plant. GM and FCA have restarted operations in Mexico.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies