United Auto Workers union sought two-week U.S. auto plant shutdown over coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: The United Auto Workers union logo is seen on the front of the UAW Solidarity House in Detroit, Michigan, September 8, 2011. Two years after the wrenching restructuring of the U.S. auto industry and the bankruptcies that remade General Motors and Chrysler, the UAW is facing its own financial reckoning. Picture taken September 8, 2011. To match Special Report USA-AUTOS/UNION REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

(Reuters) - The United Auto Workers said Tuesday it had asked Detroit’s Big Three workers to shutdown all U.S. plants for two weeks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

UAW President Rory Gamble in a letter to members seen by Reuters said General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV were not willing to do so and instead asked “for 48 hours to put together plans to safeguard workers in their facilities.” The UAW said that period expires later today and the union will “evaluating what the companies submit today.”

Gamble added the automaker will be “put on notice that the UAW will use any and all measures to protect our brothers and sisters who are working in their facilities.”

Reporting by Joseph White in Detroit; writing by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul