Workers accuse Ford of backsliding on coronavirus safety

Ford workers are telling Autoblog the company has failed to adhere to the company’s own safety procedures put in place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The workers, who are employed at factories in Kansas City and Dearborn, Mich., that build the top-selling F-150 pickup truck, are echoing concerns the UAW posted on its Facebook page last week.

The Kansas City worker claimed tools were not being cleaned between shifts, and neither were common areas such as picnic tables. A Dearborn Truck worker says that as many as three workers occupied a single nine-foot area, making proper distancing impossible. Also, when workers have tested positive for COVID-19, shutdowns that originally were supposed to last 24 hours have lasted only 15 minutes.

Ford previously paused production at Dearborn Truck on May 20 after a worker, reportedly in the chassis department, tested positive for the virus. It’s not known how long that shutdown lasted.

Reached for comment, a Ford spokeswoman directed us to remarks by Gary Johnson, Ford’s head of manufacturing, who was interviewed on the subject by Bloomberg. Claiming that the company is following its stated policies “to a T,” Johnson said, “We’re going to learn together,” adding, “We communicate every day and we’re working with the local units on some of the issues that came up and we’ll fix whatever they suggest.”

Both assembly plants resumed production on May 18.