Detroit automakers lift mask mandates for fully vaccinated workers


Ford started resuming vehicle production in the U.S. on May 18, 2020 with new coronavirus safety protocols such as health assessments, personal protective equipment and facility modifications to increase social distancing.

DETROIT – Leaders of the Detroit automakers and United Auto Workers union have agreed to make face masks optional for employees who are fully vaccinated against Covid -19.

Workers for the companies, including non-salaried employees, won't have to show proof of vaccination, according to officials with the UAW and General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler).

The Tuesday announcement comes after a task force between the companies and union reviewed reports from medical experts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards on how to safely work through the pandemic.

The UAW and automakers last month lifted some Covid-19 protocols but not the masks, which have been a major complaint of plant employees who often do physical work in hot environments.

“While the UAW and the companies continue following the protocols that have kept our workplaces safe, we know that one of the best ways to fight this virus is by getting vaccinated,” the UAW said in a statement. “The Task Force continues to encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated against COVID-19 so that we can protect our sisters and brothers and their families.”

The UAW declined to release an estimate of how many of its roughly 153,000 members with the Detroit automakers have been vaccinated.

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