Auto workers union presses companies to close US factories

The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down

DETROIT — The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.

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But union President Rory Gamble said in an email to members obtained by The Associated Press that the companies were not willing to stop production. Gamble says the union gave Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler two days to put together plans to safeguard workers. That period ends Tuesday afternoon.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FFORD MOTOR COMPANY4.71+0.18+3.97%
GMGENERAL MOTORS COMPANY21.30+1.75+8.95%
FCAFIRST TR EXCH TRADED ALPHADEX FD II CHINA ALPHADEX FD22.54+0.01+0.05%

The companies and union will meet this evening to discuss the safety measures. But Gamble says if the union isn't satisfied it will take unspecified further action to protect members.

"These companies will be put on notice that the UAW will use any and all measures to protect our brothers and sisters who are working in their facilities," Gamble said in the message.

United Auto Workers (UAW) union Vice-President Rory Gamble addresses UAW delegates at the 'Special Convention on Collective Bargaining' in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook - RC141CB70B90

The three companies employ about 150,000 auto workers at dozens of factories and parts depots across the country. Most of the manufacturing footprint is concentrated in the industrial Midwest, but the companies also have plants in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and other states.

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