Employees at FCA’s Sterling Heights Assembly refuse to work over COVID-19 concerns

, Detroit Free Press
Published 7:23 a.m. ET June 28, 2020

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COVID-19 concerns have rippled through another Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant in metro Detroit, this one producing the popular Ram 1500 pickup.

Some employees at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, also known as SHAP, stopped working over virus concerns after an employee was sent for testing, according to an email Saturday night from FCA spokeswoman Jodi Tinson. Information about the employee’s condition was not provided.

The issues at Sterling Heights echoed the situation Thursday and Friday at Jefferson North Assembly in Detroit, which makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.  

The Free Press reached out for comment earlier Saturday after receiving a tip that workers were upset about the situation at the Macomb County plant. The tipster said concerns that some coronavirus protocols are not being adequately enforced.

FCA, however, said health and safety are top priorities.

“We have a Sterling Heights Assembly Plant employee who has been sent for testing. Out of an abundance of caution, the employee’s work area has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. In addition, all of our social distancing and personal protection equipment protocols have been in full use. However, some employees have stopped working over concerns about the virus,” according to the email, which said plant operations were expected to resume at some point during the night.

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The issue at SHAP is the latest COVID-19 scare in recent days at an FCA plant. Workers stopped production on Thursday at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant on Detroit’s east side after an employee was sent home because the person was feeling ill. That worker tested negative, but production was still not back to normal on Friday because some employees had stopped working over concerns about the virus, according to Tinson.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence.

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