(Reuters) – General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are targeting May 18 to resume some production at their U.S. factories after shutting down plants in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Executives from the companies in recent days tentatively settled on the timeline following talks with United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office, the Journal said on Monday, citing people familiar with the plans. (https://on.wsj.com/3cNUYAk)
Ford said in a statement it is yet to determine when it will resume production at its North American plants, while Fiat Chrysler said it will communicate new restart dates in due course.
The head of the UAW union last week warned it was “too soon and too risky” to reopen auto plants and Michigan’s economy in early May, citing risks to workers.
Michigan Governor Whitmer is yet to provide details on restarting the state’s crucial manufacturing sector and has said she would be “guided by data, not artificial timelines.”
The companies are working with the union on drawing up safety protocols for reducing exposure risk for workers, but haven’t finalized those terms yet, according to the WSJ report.
GM and UAW did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Michigan had reported 38,210 COVID-19 cases, including 3,407 deaths, according to a Reuters tally as of Monday.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya with additional reporting by Ann Maria Shibu and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Uttaresh.V)