FCA confirms WAP work refusal over COVID-19 concerns

Photo of the Windsor Assembly Plant, September 4 2017. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Fiat-Chrysler has acknowledged that some Windsor Assembly Plant employees have refused work because of coronavirus-related issues.

Callers to the BlackburnNewsWindsor.com newsroom Thursday evening reported that a plant employee was sent home earlier in the day, and is in self-isolation due to the chance of secondary contact with someone who was being tested for COVID-19. As a result, some plant employees refused to work out of concern for their health. The employees are represented by Unifor Local 444.

Lou Ann Gosselin, a spokesperson for Chrysler Canada, confirmed to Blackburn News that the worker did self-quarantine and that the work refusal did take place, but the plant was soon checked out as a precaution.

“The Ministry of Labour visited the plant on March 12 to investigate and determined our protocols and work environment to be safe,” said Gosselin in an email. “We are working with the local union and Unifor leadership as well as government officials to address this issue in order to restart production as soon as possible.”

Gosselin also denied reports from plant employees that there was a definite case of COVID-19 at the facility.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has said 50 people in Windsor-Essex underwent testing for the coronavirus. All came back negative, and the risk of picking up the virus remains very low.