An employee at General Motors‘ Technical Center in Warren, Michigan has died due to complications from COVID-19.
The UAW-represented worker was not a GM employee but rather a contracted employee from Aramark, a janitorial vendor that GM employs to clean the Warren Tech campus.
“The UAW regrets to report that one of our members at Local 160 has passed away,” UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said in a prepared statement, “Our thoughts are with family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time.”
The Detroit Free Press reached out to GM for comment on the Aramark employee’s death, but it declined to provide a statement out of respect for the person’s family.
More than two dozen UAW employees have now died from COVID-19. According to The Detroit Free Press, 15 UAW-represented Fiat Chrysler employees have passed away from the virus so far, while eight UAW Ford employees have also died as a result of contracting the illness. So far, no UAW employees who worked for GM directly have died.
The Detroit Big Three’s engineering and manufacturing facilities remain closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not clear when they may be able to re-open, though Michigan’s stay-at-home-order will stay in effect until April 30th. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said Friday that the Michigan Legislature will likely not extend the state’s current stay-home order beyond the current April 30th deadline.
GM is currently making ventilators at its electronics components plant in Kokomo, Indiana under a $490 million government contract and manufacturing facemasks at its Warren Transmission plant. The automaker has put in place strict measures to protect the UAW employees at these facilities, taking workers’ temperatures when they arrive on-site and frequently sanitizing work stations and common areas.
In a statement released earlier this month, GM’s corporate medical director, Dr. Jeffery E. Hess, praised the UAW employees for their efforts in making ventilators and PPE.
“The men and women building these ventilators raised their hands to help save the lives of people suffering from COVID-19,” Dr. Hess said. “We will create a safe workplace using CDC guidelines and scientific data.”
Source: The Detroit Free Press