Hundreds walk off job at FCA Mack Engine plant

Hundreds of skilled trades contractors walked off the job Thursday at Fiat-Chrysler’s Mack Engine plant.

In addition to a lack of provisions like hand sanitizer, a worker tells FOX 2 the walkout was spurred by a worker at the plant testing positive for the coronavirus. 

The big three agreed to temporarily shut down the factories in response to growing concerns over the spread of the virus. UAW workers left Mack Engine on Wednesday, skill tradesmen tried to leave but were reportedly ordered back to work by FCA. 

It’s not just tradesmen concerned about exposure. FOX 2 spoke with workers at auto suppliers who are still on the job. They tell us not enough precautions are being taken to prevent the spread. 

“Now we’re finding out it’s not just the older folks ... it’s everybody. From babies on to young folks to older people,” a worker said.

These concerns aren’t limited to Metro Detroit. In California, Tesla workers are on edge -- saying there are no masks, hand sanitizer or social distancing. 

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“I have coworkers that are pregnant. I have coworkers that are over 65, and they’re fearful. They don’t know what to do anymore,” one Tesla employee said.

In a statement, FCA said:

“FCA learned today that one of the subcontractors working on the new construction of the Mack plant, which will be the first new plant in Detroit in nearly 30 years and will provide an additional 3,850 jobs, has potentially tested positive for COVID-19.

Even though this individual is not one of our employees, out of an abundance of caution and in the best interests of everyone working at the site, we halted work so that the subcontractor can carry out a deep cleaning of all areas where their employees work. This is supplemental to the extensive program of cleaning and social distancing protocols FCA has already introduced across all our facilities. When we are satisfied that the site is ready to resume construction, we will continue with the program.”

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