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Coronavirus: Ford Indefinitely Postpones Reopening North American Plants

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We reported just a few days ago that Ford was planning to restart its North American plants gradually during the month of April. Given the rapidly evolving situation over the past few days, the company is revising its plans.

Today the automaker confirmed, as reported by Canadian Automotive News, that it is postponing indefinitely the restart of production at its plants in Mexico, Canada and the United States. This time, it is declining to venture a timeline for the possible resumption of operations.

A few days ago, Ford was saying it was hopeful that work could resume on April 6 at the Hermosillo plant in Mexico and on April 14 at several U.S. plants. These dates were announced as an update to previous projections that had plants sitting idle until March 30.

“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority. We are working very closely with union leaders – especially at the UAW – to develop additional health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep our workforce safe and healthy.”

- Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America

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Photo: Ford

Two Ford workers who were members of the UAW have died from the virus since the company announced it would resume operations in April. One employee worked at Dearborn Stamping, one of the plants scheduled to reopen April 14, while another was a skilled worker at Ford's data center in Dearborn, Michigan.

“Today’s decision by Ford is the right decision for our members, their families and our nation. Under Vice President Gerald Kariem, the UAW Ford Department continues to work closely with our local unions and Ford to make sure that as we return to production all members are safe, and our communities are protected from this spreading pandemic.”

- Rory Gamble, UAW International President

Despite the indefinite closure of its facilities, Ford will as previously reported open its Rawsonville components plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, during the week of April 20 to begin production of ventilators in partnership with GE Healthcare.