Tuesday, 11 August 2020 19:33

Honda is Asking Office Staff to Work on Assembly Line

Written by Kurt Verlin, The News Wheel
Honda is Asking Office Staff to Work on Assembly Line Honda

Are you currently waiting on the delivery of a Honda you ordered? When it arrives, it may have been assembled by one of Honda’s accountants. 

According to a report from local radio station WOSU, white-collar employees at Honda’s plant in Marysville, OH, have been asked to fill in for a rapidly dwindling blue-collar workforce.


Honda is still scrambling to regain normal inventory levels after its factories were shut down between March and May, and it can’t backfill assembly line positions fast enough to recover.


“Regardless of whether or not you wanted to, you could be subject to it,” said a Honda employee who wished to remain anonymous. “They took volunteers first, but my understanding was they didn’t receive many volunteers for this activity, so then they made it mandatory.”


WOSU was able to procure an email in which a Marysville general manager outlines why Honda employees working in the research and development, purchasing and accounting departments were requested to work on the factory floor. Chief among the reasons were COVID-19 and the $600 benefit that unemployed workers are receiving until the end of July.


Though Honda is taking precautions---daily temperature scans for employees, mandatory masks and the ability to test for COVID-19 on-site---it confirmed it has recently seen an increase in cases across North America. Honda’s anonymous worker believes that whenever an assembly line worker gets sick, they’ve been in contact with 40 other workers.


People in the regular assembly line workforce are also absent for other COVID-19-related reasons, such as finally taking the time to receive elective surgeries they had initially postponed because of the pandemic, and dealing with the medical, familial and other impacts brought on by the coronavirus.


According to Jamie Karl of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, Honda’s Marysville plant already needed workers before the pandemic, which has only made the situation worse.


Honda says it is targeting “sometime in August to return to proper staffing levels,” but with the COVID-19 situation only getting worse in the U.S., it is difficult to imagine how the automaker will pull that off.


We thank The News Wheel for reprint permission. 

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