DETROIT—Detroit’s Big Three automakers will allow autoworkers to stop wearing masks at workplaces where U.S. health officials have said it is safe to do so.
General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Stellantis NV and the United Auto Workers union said in a joint statement March 4 that they would adopt new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allowing workers at U.S. facilities to not wear masks regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, if those facilities are not in high-risk counties.
According to the CDC, 93 percent of Americans live in counties that are not high-risk.
Nearly all of Michigan, where the Big Three automakers have many of their plants, has been deemed safe to go maskless, including in the counties that are home to the headquarters of GM, Ford and Stellantis. Other states that host Big Three assembly plants, such as Ohio and Illinois, are mostly safe, according to the CDC.
Unlike some other major manufacturers, the Big Three never mandated vaccines for thousands of unionized U.S. workers. However, last fall, both Ford and Stellantis required their U.S. salaried non-union workers to be vaccinated. GM, Ford and Stellantis all mandated vaccines for all autoworkers in Canada.