Last week when Ford announced it would be closing all of its manufacturing facilities in North America, it’s expected to open them back up on March 30th. Ford said at the time that it was working closely with union leaders to find ways to keep the workforce healthy and safe. Ford has now admitted that the plants won’t open on March 30th as intended.
Ford president of North America Kumar Galhotra said, “Ford’s top priority is the health and safety of our employees, dealers, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. In light of various governments’ orders to stay and work from home, Ford is not planning to restart our plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico on Monday, March 30, as originally hoped.”
Galhotra says that Ford is assessing various options and is working with union leaders, including the UAW and Unifor to try and determine the optimal timing for resuming vehicle production while keeping the well-being of the workforce as a top priority. The executive says that the automaker will provide additional updates as details are confirmed.
So far, Ford has stopped production in the UK, Europe, South America, and has instructed workers around the globe to work from home unless they perform business-critical functions that require them to be on site. Ford has recently worked with the UAW in the United States to investigate the potential of manufacturing health supplies and equipment at its manufacturing plants. It’s unclear how the UAW and Ford plan to guarantee the health of UAW employees who are working on producing medical supplies when they felt unable to do so when the employees were building vehicles.