“If the nature of your work allows for it, we are asking all GM employees and contract workers to work remotely, beginning Monday, March 16,” the notice reads. “This policy applies globally, apart from our team in China, which has existing protocols in place. Please speak with your direct manager about what this means for you.”
The notice is similar to plans announced by Ford and FCA, both of which are advising that employees work from home if possible.
“These are important steps to lower the probability of spreading the coronavirus to coworkers, families, and communities and to relieve the burden on public resources,” the notice outlines. “It also helps conserve critical resources like cleaning crews, medical staff, and supplies so they can be deployed where they are most needed.”
The notice also addresses those employees who are unable to work remote. “We are taking every precaution to ensure our teams remain safe and are adjusting manufacturing, Global Product Development, Customer Care and Aftersales and Contact Center work schedules to allow for additional cleaning.”
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, with roughly 139,000 cases worldwide, and more than 5,000 deaths. More than 10 cases have been reported in Michigan, the heart of the U.S. auto industry. The virus has also halted production in China, while a number of auto-related events, including the Geneva International Motor Show, New York International Auto Show, and debut of the all-new Cadillac Lyriq EV crossover have either been canceled or delayed.
Moving forward, Bara says that GM’s IT capabilities are up to the task of handling employees working remotely in the face of the novel coronavirus.
“Given the current drop is use of public transportation and extensive flight cancellations, our customers are looking to us more than ever to ensure they have the vehicles, parts and services they need,” the notice reads.