Detroit Three, UAW Launch Coronavirus Task Force
Most white-collar types working for domestic automakers will be able to limit exposure to the rampaging coronavirus by sealing themselves off at home, relying on computers, phones, and Skype to carry on the business of making cars. But those whose livelihoods involve the physical building of cars are a different story; they have to come into work, so long as the plant stays open.
With this in mind, the Detroit Three and the United Auto Workers joined up to create the COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force — an effort to lower the risk posed to assembly plant workers.
Heading up the task force is the shiniest brass from each entity: UAW President Rory Gamble, Ford Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley. Backing them up are the respective UAW heads assigned to each automaker, joined by the medical staff of each automaker and their manufacturing and labor leadership teams.
“This is a fluid and unprecedented situation, and the task force will move quickly to build on the wide-ranging preventive measures we have put in place,” said the Detroit Three leaders in a joint statement. “We are all coming together to help keep our workforces safe and healthy.”
As for what this means on the ground, the task force’s recommendations and responsibilities are pretty much what you’d expect of any still-functional workplace in the grip of an infectious disease outbreak. Things like the repeated sanitization of commonly-touched surfaces, previously-announced “enhanced” visitor screening, safety protocol for exposed workers, and the same thing for workers who actually show symptoms. Break times, food prep and availability, and employee education will be other focuses.
Sounds mundane, but there’s little else a company can do, aside from temporarily laying off workers while providing full pay — something many would no doubt prefer under these circumstances, but that’s a slightly different issue.
“As the joint task force identifies enhancements, each company, together with the UAW, will provide regular updates to the workers in their facilities,” the automakers stated.
[Image: General Motors]
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- Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
- Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
- Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
That would actually be a good thing for the public and for the auto industry if people stop buying new vehicles.
Same thing happened during WWII. After war with virus ends there will be a boom. Buy auto stocks now while they are cheap..