When Ford restarted production after the coronavirus shutdown, it put in place a whole series of new protocols in order to protect the health of the workforce. Now, however, the United Auto Workers at Ford's Kansas City plant that makes the F-150 pickup and the Transit van alleges that the company is not following proper coronavirus protocols.
As reported by Automotive News, the Kansas City UAW posted its complaint on its Facebook page. The post says, in part: "We are in the process of writing safety complaints that will be elevated to address all failures of the company to follow COVID-19 protocols and to provide safe working conditions for our members. The failure to consistently follow the plant COVID-19 screening protocol, Social distancing protocol, Process coach start-up cleaning verification protocol that includes the cleaning/sanitizing of Tools, palm buttons, parts racks, parts bins, fixtures, tables, cabinets, carts, station board, OIS Sleeves, stationary dunnage and outside the workstation protocol that includes table, chairs, cabinets, water stations, ice machines, lockers, floors, tops, and side of partitions, light switches, door handles, A/C Control Switches) Turnstiles, Entrances, Stairs, Handrails, Breakrooms, Restrooms, Locker rooms, Smoking areas, Doors, Counters, Desks, Tables, Ice machines, Drinking fountains, Eyewash stations, Trash bins, and all high contact points has not been followed by KCAP management in Ford's own process."
Ford disputed the allegation, with AN publishing the following statement from the company: "Working closely with the UAW and external experts in infectious disease and epidemiology, we have developed safety standards to protect our work force. We follow those protocols at all Ford facilities globally, including Kansas City Assembly Plant. Our safety protocol continues to evolve as we learn more about COVID-19."
The company resumed vehicle assembly on May 18. On May 26, it temporarily paused production on the Transit side of the Kansas City facility after a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19.