General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobile and Ford Motor Company have banded together to form a task force for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The United Auto Workers union will also be apart of the task force, helping to implement and communicate plans made by the Big Three to its 400,000 members in the United States.
In a statement released Sunday, the three companies said the task force will help implement “enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.” The joint task force will address areas such as health and safety education, health screening, food service, break and cleaning schedules and “any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees.”
“As the joint task force identifies enhancements, each company, together with the UAW, will provide regular updates to the workers in their facilities,” the statement also said.
So far GM, FCA and Ford have all implemented enhanced visitor screening at their various U.S. facilities, along with increased cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and touch points, and implementation of safety protocols for people with potential exposure or who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
The task force will be lead by GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett, FCA CEO Michael Manley and UAW President Rory Gamble.
GM has not said if it will close its U.S. manufacturing plants due to the coronavirus pandemic, though Gamble said the union is “focused on doing the right thing for our people, their families, our communities and the country,” and added that “all options related to protecting against exposure to the virus are on the table.”
A number of automakers have already closed factories due to the coronavirus outbreak, including FCA (Europe only), Ferrari and Lamborghini.