Daily Management Review

Ford Announces Plans Of Restarting U.S. Manufacturing Plants


Ford to follow Chinese manufacturing unit’s safety measures. Will the UAW get convinced?

Ford Motor Co highlighted about its safety measures with the plan to “restart its most profitable U.S. plants” even during the present pandemic situation. This moves reflects similar effort made by General Motors and Fiat Chrysler as they sought to convince union leaders at the “United Auto Workers union” for sending the workers to the manufacturing units.
The union has not shown its consent so far about “reopening U.S. auto plants” although Asian and European workers have started to join work. Following the virtual halt of auto manufacturing in the U.S. from March, it will depend on Ford and its “U.S. rivals” on how fast they manage to convince “UAW and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer” as billions of dollars are at stake in terms of profits and revenue.
Although, UAW think even early May is too early for going back to work, while the executives at Ford highlights that auto industry contributes to six percent of the U.S. economy. According to Reuters:
“Ford has the largest unionized workforce in the United States with about 56,000 UAW members. The F-series pickup trucks UAW workers build account for $50 billion in annual revenue, Ford said”.
While the C.O.O of Ford, Jim Farley said:
“It’s just really now getting the clarity from our government leaders because we’re ready”.
On the other hand, the president of UAW, Rory Gamble informed:
“The UAW is asking for as much testing as is possible to prevent exposure to the virus”.
Moreover, the Head of Human Resources at Ford, Kiersten Robinson informed that the company won’t have “reliable and scalable testing solution” to test COVID-19 for sometimes while the company is trying to get the solution as soon as possible. And she added:
“Longer term, we think it will be critical. Hopefully, in coming weeks or months, it will be part of our protocol.”
The Manufacturing Chief of Ford, Gary Johnson reported that if any workers think they were exposed they would be “sent to a hospital for testing and the UAW had agreed to that process”. And Reuters informed that:
“Johnson said the company was not planning to provide workers with N95 respiratory masks, which are designed to filter 95% of airborne particles, as the regular face masks and shields were good enough”.
Ford plans to put in place “no-touch doors” in the plant besides making PPE mandatory besides installing barriers in areas where “employees must work closely together” besides use “thermal scanning to screen employees for fevers and do heavy sanitizing of work areas”. Furthermore, Ford informed that the same safety protocols are being followed in China wherein production began in late February.