Ford confirms 7th UAW worker death after coronavirus diagnosis

Tribune Content Agency

DETROIT — A seventh UAW member employed by Ford Motor Co. and diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has died, the company confirmed late Tuesday. It is the second death of a worker from the Livonia Transmission Plant.

“We are saddened that another Ford team member has passed away after contracting COVID-19,” said Kelli Felker, Ford spokeswoman. “It is a tragic reminder that the coronavirus crisis is everywhere and requires the attention of all of us. Our thoughts are with their families, friends and coworkers during this difficult time.”

A private UAW Local 182 Facebook page included a post about the death, noting his name and job as an electrician and said, “It is with a heavy heart that I am sad to say that another Brother from Livonia … lost his battle” with COVID-19. “Please keep his family lifted in prayer.”

The previous death of a worker from the Livonia plant associated with the respiratory illness was confirmed April 2.

Brian Rothenberg, spokesman for the UAW, said Tuesday the union extends its “deepest sympathies.”

It is unclear where the deceased workers contracted the highly infectious disease. As is typical of most workplaces during this time, the auto companies are monitoring when employees have been exposed, and who might need to be notified for potential quarantine. Factory workers in many situations have worked physically close to one another.

To date, FCA has confirmed 11 deaths of employees diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, 10 of them UAW members. Neither General Motors nor the UAW have confirmed any GM employee deaths associated with COVID-19.

The UAW is notified of deaths because union leaders are monitoring and tracking workplace safety concerns as many employees work in “essential” manufacturing settings that have not shut down. The UAW is also playing a key role in the production of safety gear and hospital equipment being made for health care workers, first responders and hospital patients.

The UAW or company officials have confirmed the following 18 deaths since March 22:

Three FCA workers from Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

An FCA worker from the Kokomo Transmission Plant in Indiana

Two FCA workers from Warren Truck

An FCA worker from FCA Transport in Sterling Heights

Two FCA workers from MOPAR parts distribution center in Center Line

An FCA non-union employee based at the Warren Tech Center, working at the Auburn Hills headquarters

An FCA worker from the Warren Stamping Plant

A Ford worker in skilled trades from the Ford Data Center in Dearborn

A Ford worker from Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant in Dearborn

A Ford worker from Dearborn Stamping

A Ford worker from Michigan Assembly in Wayne

Two Ford workers from the Livonia Transmission Plant

A Ford worker from the Chicago Assembly Plant


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