Monday, April 6 update.
It was a great weekend to get out and do some yard work, and probably many of us are feeling it in our backs and muscles by now.
On the business side, today’s news is that automakers are extending their shut downs further. Honda today announced that all North American production will be suspended until May 1. BMW also announced that their shut down (which affects Paducah) will be extended to April 30 (It was April 13 and we were getting a lot of pressure to come back and make parts for them). Tower also notified us that they are planning to be down until May 4. Challenge has moved orders out, too.
Today we met with our plant managers to discuss how to implement social distancing in our plants when we come back. They are also evaluating personal protective equipment like gloves and masks.
Do we know when we’re going to call people back to work? Not at this time.
I watched Michigan Governor Whitmer’s update this morning. She hinted at extending the stay at home order, but did not make any announcement. Based on the automakers announcements and our expectation of an extention of the stay at home order, we feel it is looking less likely that we will be coming back in any significant way next week. We will extend health insurance benefits through April but after that we will likely require our employees on leave to take COBRA. We will notify you in an update in the coming days.
A few words about unemployment: I’m hearing it’s frustrating to get through. Please know that we are doing everything we can at our end. The state’s system is not designed for this load, and Governor Whitmer acknowledged this today in her update.