LOUSVILLE, KY — In response to the coronavirus pandemic, GE Appliances has shut down production at Appliance Park until March 30.
The company noted that it does not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases. Distribution centers remain fully optional and will continue delivering, installing and servicing appliances for customers.
Originally, the company said that starting with first shift Friday, March 20, through April 3, the company would reduce shifts or temporarily suspend operations at four buildings at the manufacturing complex.
GE Appliances has recently faced pressure from unionized employees to temporarily shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Louisville GE union president Dino Driskell told workers in a letter last week that he had asked the company to cease production over the next few weeks and for Gov. Andy Beshear's office to intervene in temporarily shutting down the plant.
The local represents about 4,000 hourly workers, most of them assigned to assembly lines for washers, dryers, stoves, ovens and refrigerators.
"I am having a difficult time comprehending how it is important enough to shut down schools, childcare facilities, churches, bars, restaurants, office workers, etc. to help maintain 'Social Distancing' and limit the spread of the virus," wrote Driskell. "Yet the health and welfare of our members who are assembly line production workers in close proximity is not deemed a risk to spread the virus. It comes across, to me, as 'Social Distancing' only applies to blue-collar production workers, across the state, when they are not on the clock making assembly numbers, and that is quite frustrating. If we are to be following those practices, it should pertain to ALL not to the select, as it sends a message that our families are less important than others."