General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have proposed reopening in early May, but United Autoworkers are pushing back due to safety concerns.
“At this point in time, the UAW does not believe the scientific data is conclusive that it is safe to have our members back in the workplace,” said UAW President Rory Gamble in an April 23 statement. “We have not done enough testing to really understand the threat our members face. We want to make sure the scientific data is supportive and every possible health protocol and enhanced protections are in place before UAW members walk into the workplace.”
In an update on Friday, Gamble said the big question remains: Will our members be safe? “If the answer is no, then our course is clear.” Experts have been clear, said Gamble, that “if we restart too early, it will be calamitous for all of us.”
He added, “These decisions cannot be dictated by economics or stock prices or market conditions. They must be dictated by science and the safety of our working men and women. And based on that, which is the only criteria the International Executive Board and I are using, I feel the scientific data is not conclusive at this point and it is too risky for our members, their families and our communities to support a quick return to work in early May.”
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