Back in May, the CDC revised its guidance on face coverings, suggesting that those who have been vaccinated no longer needed to wear masks indoors in most settings. Regardless, the United Auto Workers union (UAW) opted to stick with its mask mandate for autoworkers while it awaited further guidance, and earlier this month, the union and all Big 3 Detroit automakers – Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis – decided to keep the mandate in place following a review from the UAW’s COVID-19 Joint Task Force. However, it appears that now, it has had a change of heart.
The UAW and Big 3 have decided to drop their mask mandate starting July 12th, however, only for vaccinated workers, according to Reuters. Autoworkers that have not yet been vaccinated will continue to be required to wears masks while on the job, Previously, the UAW said that it was keeping its mask mandate in place out of “an abundance of caution.”
While the union will continue to ask workers to practice social distancing, proper handwashing, and workstation cleaning, it has changed a few procedures as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to decline. The UAW recently announced that it would be phasing out temperature screenings at facility entrances, and that other entry and exit procedures will change slightly.
At the same time, both the UAW and all three Detroit automakers continue to encourage workers to get vaccinated. Ford has been offering on-site vaccines for its employees at a number of its U.S. plants for months now, including the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant, Ford Rawsonville Components Plant, Ford Lima Engine Plant, Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant, Ford Michigan Assembly Plant, the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant, and the Ford Chicago Stamping Plant.