(WXYZ)—The alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in Michigan may spread inside the car assembly plant.
Workers at the Fiat Chrysler Stirling Heights assembly plant closed all car plants in the spring and complied with COVID safety regulations, and then walked out in the spring. Some of these workers threatened to strike again, and only spoke if we did not use their names. They are afraid that they will lose their jobs by speaking out.
A person told 7 Action News: “We are here to worry about our lives.”
Another talked about the rise in cases in the second wave, “These numbers are really high. It may be higher than the first time.”
Workers are sharing their concerns and choices on closed Facebook pages.
After being shut down by Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year, the three major safety protocols included temperature checks and answering questions before allowing them to enter the factory. But the workers said that their concerns were beyond their scope, and that the American Auto Workers Federation had not stepped up their efforts.
A worker said: “The union can do more. But I am not. I don’t know how much they can do.”
Another added: “Many housekeepers, many unions are sick.”
The workers said they were trapped, “If you are leaving now because of contact with someone, you will not get paid unless you are tested positive.”
Fiat Chrysler issued the following statement to us:
“At FCA, we have developed a comprehensive, multi-layered health and safety measures plan. We know that the protocols and procedures implemented by the factory can prevent employees from spreading the virus at work. If employees test positive, we will continue to follow the recommendations Contact tracing guidelines, which indicate that the accidents we encountered were exposures outside the factory, and we continue to encourage employees to take the same health and safety measures whenever they go out and are about to protect the safe environment we created inside the factory.
UAW issued the following statement:
“We continue to work with the Detroit Task Force 3 to respond to the COVID 19 virus as aggressively as possible. The American Auto Workers Federation and companies meet daily at the local and national levels to review data related to COVID 19 and resolve issues raised.
Plants reflect the communities in which they are located. We should all be concerned about the recent increase in cases outside the community and workplace.
Therefore, we have also developed an aggressive plan with employers to conduct contact tracking to detect any super-spreaders. So far, contact tracing with members reporting positive cases has not shown widespread infection in the workplace. It can be traced back to infection from contact with the outside of the plant. However, if plants break out, we will take action.
We remind members to regularly observe the regulations outside the factory and pay attention to their surrounding environmental and social conditions. We also remind our members that because of the Covid 19 outbreak in the community, they must follow the procedures and answer the work self-questionnaire to help prevent outbreaks in the home and workplace.
If members are concerned that the regulations are not being followed in the factory, they should immediately contact the local union leader. When international trade unions hear about issues, we will resolve them at the local level every day. “