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Thursday, 21 May 2020 16:41

Ford Shuts Down Dearborn Truck Plant After Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Written by Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
A UAW assemblyman works on a 2018 Ford F-150 truck being assembled at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, MI. A UAW assemblyman works on a 2018 Ford F-150 truck being assembled at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, MI. Carlos Osorio, Associated Press


The worker noted factory workers have paper masks, face shields and gloves. The worker said supervisors told workers the employee sent home worked in the chassis department on line three. A source at Ford confirmed the area of the contaminated worker. 


Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of the company, toured the Dearborn Truck and Dearborn Stamping plants about 9:30 a.m. May 20, the company confirmed, along with UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem and Gary Johnson, Ford chief of manufacturing and labor affairs officer.


All wore personal protective equipment as required by company protocol and "they had a chance to observe firsthand the robust safety measures Ford has put in place to help support a safe and healthy environment for the company's workforce," said Mark Truby, chief communications officer for Ford. 


"The visiting group did not come in contact with any employees who have contracted COVID-19 or anyone who is known to have been in contact with the virus," Truby said in a prepared statement. "The Dearborn truck employee who tested positive this week is in self-quarantine and was not in the plant today."


Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett are planning to attend the visit with President Donald Trump at the Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, scheduled for May 21, Truby said. 


Meanwhile, the UAW worker sent home from Dearborn Truck on May 20 told the Free Press he called his wife and asked she leave a garbage bag and Lysol in the garage, where he shed his clothes before going in the house. 


"I sprayed my shoes with Lysol and left them in the sun. I asked my wife to open the door so I wouldn't have to touch it," he said. "I asked her to get the shower ready so I can do what I've got to do. To be honest, a majority of people in our plant live in hot spots, like Detroit and Canton."


Ford has handled coronavirus-related worker issues in Illinois and Michigan this week.


"When two employees who returned to work this week tested positive for COVID-19, we immediately notified people known to have been in close contact with the infected individuals and asked them to self-quarantine for 14 days," Felker said May 20.


The employees worked in the SHO Center, she confirmed. "Chicago Assembly Plant is now running."

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