U.S. autoworkers will continue to wear masks on job

by David Shepardson


Detroit’s Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers union said Wednesday they will continue to require workers to wear masks pending new guidelines from a U.S. agency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most instances including at work.

General Motors Co (GM.N), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV (STLA.MI) said they are awaiting guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The UAW and automakers will reconvene in two weeks and review updates.

Other automakers are also still requiring U.S. workers to wear masks, including Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE).

GM spokesman Dan Flores said the automaker “will continue our current practices around mask wearing until we are confident that any revisions continue to support employees’ health and safety while ensuring compliance with applicable federal and state rules.”

Flores said GM was highly encouraging employees to get vaccinated. “Immunity is the best path toward determining when GM may be able to relax or rescind mask wearing protocols,” he said.

A Stellantis spokeswoman said the company strongly advocates employees get vaccinated and “will continue to mandate the use of masks in our facilities, in combination with our other health and safety protocols, for the foreseeable future.”