LOUISVILLE, Ky. — GE Appliances will shut down production at Appliance Park after third shift Sunday night, March 22.
"During these unprecedented times, we are taking these steps to protect our employees, while continuing to provide products that are vital to the health and safety of all Americans," a statement said.
The company said there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at Appliance Park, but said it will close for one week to clean. In a letter to employees, GE said the previously announced shift schedules for March 20, listed below, remain the same:
- AP1: Line 8/9 and Line 1 run first shift
- AP3: P1 runs first shift
- AP4: Continue to operate under normal schedule through the end of second shift
- AP5: No production
An employee whose worked at Appliance Park for two years, tells us higher ups have constantly been stressing how important their environmental health and safety team is. But he feels during this pandemic, they haven't put their employees first.
"It doesn't seem like they are taking it serious when it needs to be the most serious time," the employee explained.
The new return date for all employees is Monday, March 30 (or Sunday, March 29 for third shift). In the letter, GE said employees may be eligible to file for unemployment while on Temporary Lack of Work.
"Our distribution centers remain fully operational providing parts and inventory to our customers," the statement said.
But this employee we spoke with says if this virus continues to shut down production, it's a small, scary glimpse into what their future's could look like.
"GE was supposed to be the foundation of where my money came from and now it's getting taken out from under us. So honestly it's going to be very hard for us to figure out our bills," the employee said.
The president of the union representing GE workers posted a video on Instagram explaining the process.
"The company will go through each and every building, and spray them down and clean them during this time. Things change daily on whether that's going to be an extended period of time," said Dino Driskell, the president of the union.
Ford recently announced it will suspend production through March 30 to clean facilities to combat coronavirus.
GE Appliance Park Union President releases statement on recent closure:
“After working tirelessly on issues our members are facing with COVID-19, I am pleased that the company has worked with us to get our members off the shop floors in order to clean each plant. Over the next week, we have to work with the company on ways to maintain the new standard on social distancing that has been set forth by the CDC, medical experts, and our Governor, Andy Beshear. In manufacturing plants that have assembly lines with people in close contact each and every day, it will be imperative that we come up with a solution on how to make product in a safe manner for our members. Safe Social Distancing has to be the focus during the upcoming week so that our members are able to work and supply the customers yet maintain the safe work environment they deserve."