A high number of COVID-19 cases have been reported at the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana in recent months, forcing union members to speak out about the worsening situation.
The World Socialist Web Site recently obtained memos addressing the COVID-19 situation at Fort Wayne Assembly, which were originally sent out by plant management to assembly line workers.
These memos indicate there were a total of 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the plant between November 6th and November 23rd. The plant saw a total of 10 confirmed cases in one day alone on November 20th, a potential sign of transmission between workers at the facility.
The WSWS says that four of the cases were second-shift trim employees, while two were third-shift trim employees. A single first-shift chassis department employee, along with another on the second chassis shift, also tested positive for the virus. GM maintains that there is no plant transmission at the Fort Wayne Assembly plant and that all the cases are being contracted outside of work.
The publication also tracked down a Fort Wayne Assembly plant employee who posted a Facebook comment that said an entire team of workers on the door line at the plant were off work on quarantine after being potentially exposed to the virus.
GM said earlier in the year that it would offer paid time off for employees who were forced to take time off work to quarantine. Conversely, the WSWS said it spoke to employees who said GM is making it hard for employees who may be exposed to take time off and that there is “enormous pressure” to continue showing up for work anyway.
Employees at the plant are also frustrated with UAW leadership, who they believe is not acting in their best interests to protect them from contracting COVID-19 at work.
GM Fort Wayne Assembly builds the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty pickups. The trucks are among GM’s most profitable vehicles, making Fort Wayne a key plant for GM’s overall business.
As of this writing, there had been a total of 342,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Indiana, along with 5,723 deaths.