Living in factories. Sleep on the floors. GM autoworkers self-isolate during zero-COVID lockdown in China

Autoworkers at GM’s (GM) joint venture in China have reportedly been asked to sleep on the floors of its factories to maintain operations despite recent zero-COVID shutdowns in Shanghai.

GM’s measures to keep its factories open in Shanghai during the lockdown act as a closed-loop management style or bubble-like isolation arrangement, where workers live, sleep and work in factories to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the outside world, Reuters reported.

A similar style of bubble isolation was used in Beijing during the Winter Olympics to protect athletes and citizens from the spread of the virus.

GM produces Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles at its Shanghai facility in conjunction with a joint venture with Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp. The factories, which are located in the area east of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, have been closed since Monday to Friday, Reuters said.

Although GM has not publicly commented on the agreement to isolate its workers, it told the media on Monday that the Shanghai joint venture was producing normally and had developed contingency plans with suppliers to manage uncertainty related to the COVID-19.

A company spokesperson told Business Insider, “GM, along with the supply chain and engineering teams at our joint ventures, have developed and continue to execute emergency plans. scale with our suppliers to mitigate the uncertainty related to COVID-19.Over the past two years, we have proven the resilience of our operations and our people.

Shanghai has issued a major lockdown in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant that has hit the region. China, which operates under a zero-COVID strategy, has faced a wave of virus outbreaks in the country.

On Sunday, he said he was locking down half the city as it undergoes large-scale COVID testing for residents, while the other half of the city would be locked down for testing from April 1, a said Business Insider. Shanghai recorded 50 symptomatic COVID-19 cases and 3,450 asymptomatic cases on Sunday, accounting for 70 percent of the national total.

Tesla, which also has factories in Shanghai, was unable to meet the demands of the closed-loop management style and closed its factory due to the enforced lockdown, according to Reuters.

Ford has no factories in the city and is unaffected by the lockdown, but told the Detroit Free Press that city employees are working from home.

Volkswagen told Automotive News that its Shanghai factories are currently unaffected by the mandatory closures.

In 2021, GM delivered 2.9 million vehicles to China, the Detroit Free Press reported.

On pre-market Wednesday, GM shares were trading at $46.18, down 8 cents or 0.17%.

The new GM logo is seen on the facade of the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

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