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Unfortunate news and a bad scene at the Dearborn plant which produces the F-150.


https://labornotes.org/blogs/2020/05/video-ford-workers-shut-down-line-dearborn-truck-plant

VIDEO: Ford Workers Shut Down the Line at Dearborn Truck Plant
May 22, 2020

A video taken by an auto worker and obtained exclusively by Labor Notes shows a rowdy and chaotic scene inside Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan Truck Plant on Wednesday as workers refused to work after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Some stood by the lines; others simply went home.



This is the first week of production at the Big Three automakers, following weeks of lockdowns that idled the plants.

Shifts in the Dearborn Truck Plant, which produces the F-150, run for ten hours. A-shift, the first, runs until 4:30 p.m. and B-shift starts at 6:00 p.m. Workers have to arrive early to stand in socially distanced lines and make their way into the plant after completing a health survey and having their temperature taken.

According to multiple workers in the plant, an A-shift worker left work on Tuesday and that night tested positive for the coronavirus.

When A-shift employees arrived on Wednesday, word started to spread about the confirmed case.Eventually management gave up and sent A-shift home.

“Ford sent A-shift home at 1:30 p.m. so they could clean in time for us to start,” said one B-shift worker who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation by the company.

TEMPORARIES DON'T KNOW THE JOBS

The Big Three have been hiring thousands of temporary workers in anticipation of high levels of absenteeism on the assembly lines. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford has hired 680 temporary workers there.

New hires don’t know how to perform the jobs, so the company has them work with someone else to learn on the fly.

“When the B-shift showed up, multiple lines were short, but the company had more new temporary workers than jobs so they could have workers double up on jobs,” a Dearborn Truck Plant employee said. “That means working shoulder to shoulder, they definitely are not six feet apart. Everyone started to refuse to work and the line was not running.

“They were threatening to fire everyone who refused to be doubled up. I didn’t care, I walked out.”

Ford had given employees a 64-page reopening protocol booklet. It calls for a minimum six-foot social distancing and for deep-cleaning protocols if someone who worked in the plant in the last 24 hours is confirmed to have had COVID-19. Many B-shift workers did not feel the 1.5 hours between A-shift and B-shift was enough time for a cleaning.

“The company is changing the rules as they go,” said another employee. “They were supposed to deep-clean the plant after sending A-shift home, but they didn’t. We are suppose to be practicing social distancing but we aren’t.”

MASS BREAKS
Workers said the high absenteeism also means Ford has not instituted its intended rolling breaks, but instead requires all workers to go on break at the same time.

“How do you go to the bathroom and wash your hands or go to the break room and eat when hundreds and hundreds of people are trying to do the same thing as you?” asked another employee.

All the workers who spoke with Labor Notes said they have not received any information from their union, United Auto Workers Local 600, about how the confirmed case is being handled or what changes the company will be making.

IN CHICAGO
There was also a confirmed case at Ford’s plant on Chicago’s South Side, which produces the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator, and Ford Interceptor. Scott Houldieson, a skilled trades worker, spoke to CNN this week about how Ford’s reliance on temporary workers is putting safety at risk.

“We need to slow the line speed down, because when the workers that know those jobs are not on those jobs, if you run the line at full speed, then you end up having to double up the jobs,” Houldieson told CNN. “That brings people into closer contact with one another and is a violation of the six-foot rule, which is hard enough to enforce when workers are working their regular job on the assembly line."
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Striker Hawk

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...
TEMPORARIES DON'T KNOW THE JOBS

The Big Three have been hiring thousands of temporary workers in anticipation of high levels of absenteeism on the assembly lines. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford has hired 680 temporary workers there.

New hires don’t know how to perform the jobs, so the company has them work with someone else to learn on the fly.
...
Oh this does NOT bode well for quality control going forward in the near term...
 

maduck

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Sadly these types of issues are going to be common for all manufacturers and will probably speed up the replacement of people with robots doing these jobs to the extent it's possible.
 

Service_Merchandise

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Are they aware that robots can easily take their jobs. I am all for safety but it's no secret that some people are making just as much money sitting at home and don't want to work.
 

Degrominator

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Taking turn for the worse. UAW now asking Ford to shut down the plant again.

UAW Asks Ford To Shut Down Dearborn Truck Plant And Test All Workers For COVID-19
https://fordauthority.com/2020/05/u...ruck-plant-and-test-all-workers-for-covid-19/

Barely a week into the reopening of Ford’s U.S. plants, things appeared to be going rather smoothly. But then, both the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant and Ford Chicago Assembly Plant were shut down for roughly 24 hours after a few employees tested positive for COVID-19. And despite Ford implementing a wide range of new safety protocols at its facilities, the UAW Local 600 union – which represents workers at the Dearborn plant – has filed a grievance demanding additional actions from the automaker.

Those demands include asking Ford to shut down its Dearborn Truck Plant assembly lines until all workers can be tested for COVID-19. Additionally, the union is asking for additional break time, and wants Ford to complete a 24-hour shutdown every time a worker tests positive for the coronavirus, during which time the entire plant can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

The UAW is looking to shut down the Dearborn Truck Plant immediately, at which point all 4,000 workers can be tested. Those who test negative can then return to work and the assembly lines can resume. Meanwhile, the additional 20 minutes of break time is being requested due to the complexity of the face masks workers must wear, which they say make physical labor more demanding.

“There’s no safe way to be back to work right now, but a safer way is for everybody to be tested,” said Gary Walkowicz, bargain committeeman at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant. “I am sure there are people who are at work right now, they could have the virus and not show any symptoms or develop any symptoms, but they expose it to other folks.”

Ford has not commented on the grievance yet, but did issue a statement in response. “The safety of our workforce is our top priority. Working closely with the UAW and external experts in infectious disease and epidemiology, we have developed safety standards to protect our workforce; we follow those protocols at all Ford facilities globally. Our safety protocol continues to evolve as we learn more about COVID-19.”
 

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GABAR

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Are they aware that robots can easily take their jobs. I am all for safety but it's no secret that some people are making just as much money sitting at home and don't want to work.
Says the person who’s not working on said assembly line.
 

Threeper88

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Yikes, I would hate to have a truck on order right now.
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