OHS Canada Magazine

U.S. automakers, union tell workers to keep wearing masks at work


By Matt Ott

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Don’t ditch those masks yet, autoworkers.

A task force made up of union and car company officials said it will continue to require workers to wear masks on the job “out of an abundance of caution.”

The task force, made up of officials from United Auto Workers, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, said the mask requirement will remain in place until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues guidelines in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent change in COVID-19 workplace standards. The CDC last week relaxed its mask-wearing guidance — both indoors and outside — for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The car companies, which operate in various states around the country, said they will also comply with local regulations as they may differ from place to place.

“We know that masks can be uncomfortable, but we ask that everyone comply,” the task force said in a news release Wednesday.

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It also urged workers who hadn’t been vaccinated to do so.

“We encourage everyone to roll up their sleeve so we can move more quickly toward continuing to relax our protocols,” it said.

The group will reconvene in two weeks to review potential updates to OSHA COVID-19 policy.