Don’t let auto plants become Covid-19 super spreaders


American auto plants are becoming workforce and community Covid19 super-spreaders. Covid19 is killing or permanently injuring our sisters and brothers.

Transparency is an issue. We have a right to know not only how many tested positive or died. We have the right to know when we have worked near someone who tested positive.

A Kentucky Autoworker says his plant has nearly a 5% infection rate. The UAW, news media, and politicians must hold the auto industry accountable. We challenge them to ask companies specific questions, such as “How many positive cases are in your company, plant by plant?” This is needed for worker and community health, the health of the economy, and the health of companies that cannot see beyond tomorrow’s production targets.

As a member of UAW Local 600 told us,

If the automakers would make it known to the members and the public about their numbers of Covid cases, it would make the members more conscientious about Covid. Knowing the numbers in their plant would make them more careful inside and outside the workplace.

Workers are expressing distrust of the vaccines. When companies hide how widespread the virus is, they stoke the distrust in a vaccine developed in record time. Workers’ broken trust needs to be repaired. Honest reporting can help repair that trust.

We demand that dangerous work areas be shut down as long as necessary for safety. Companies must compensate all employees for the duration of any negotiated quarantines and shutdowns.

Spikes in virus infections and deaths will follow holiday and winter weather transmissions. Stopping the spread is too important to entrust to companies that have let the virus spread.

Workers and our communities need the press and politicians and UAW to ask the tough questions. We must prevent auto plants from becoming Covid19 super spreader factories.

Auto Worker Caravan, January 2021