Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.
The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe, CNBC reported.
Ford said it plans to close its factories in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico after Thursday evening and through March 30. The company said it would work closely with the United Auto Workers union in the coming weeks to restart plants and explore additional protocols and procedures to help prevent the spread of the virus.
According to CNBC, altogether, the closures would affect 25 final-assembly factories and 150,000 union workers, according to the UAW and each automaker. General Motors has 11 factories, followed by Ford’s eight factories and Fiat Chrysler’s six.
Honda North America announced on Wednesday that it will be closing four U.S.-based plants starting March 23 due to an anticipated decline in market demand. In a statement, Honda said it would halt production for six days with plans to return by the end of the month.