The GM Flint Assembly plant in Michigan has been dealing with a small number of COVID-19 cases among assembly line workers since it reopened in May.
UAW Local 598 chairman Eric Welter told The Detroit Free Press this week that there have been a total of 70 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among GM Flint Assembly workers since May, including a sudden spike last week that saw 25 workers test positive for the virus. Flint Assembly is one of GM’s largest plants and has about 5,500 workers in total, making 70 cases a relatively low figure, Welter said, but he told the Free Press the situation is still “bad and tough to deal with.”
Strict COVID-19 safety protocol measures have been put in place at the automaker’s various plants and distribution facilities around the globe. These safety protocol measures include taking employees’ temperatures before they enter the shop floor, requiring facemasks and other PPE and wiping down work areas between shift rotations. Flint workers have taken some of these measures a step further, the Detroit Free Press reports, performing touch-point cleaning up to seven times a shift and cleaning the bathrooms more often. Plant leadership is also trying to encourage “more transparent” communication with regard to COVID-19 and positive cases within the plant, the publication said.
The GM Flint Assembly plant is one of the automaker’s biggest and most important plants, tasked with building the popular and hugely profitable Chevy Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks. The company has been running its large truck and SUV plants at full throttle since they reopened in May as it attempts to replenish its inventory and meet sustained demand for the vehicles.
“Large pickup and full-size SUV plants are all operating on three shifts and at maximum overtime,” the automaker said in its Q3 earnings reports. “Robust, multi-layered COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented across all of GM’s facilities to help keep employees safe and restore production to pre-pandemic levels.”