Thursday, June 17, 2021
News Honda US Moving Office Staff to Assembly to Cope with COVID Worker...

Honda US Moving Office Staff to Assembly to Cope with COVID Worker Shortage

Coronavirus ill and isolating workers leads to white collar Honda staff on the line

  • Labour shortage means office staff coming in to work

  • Plant builds Honda Accord, CR-V, Acura TLX

A Honda factory in Ohio is putting office workers on the line as COVID-related staffing shortages have left them short of the people who normally bolt together Honda and Acura vehicles.

The story comes from WOSU Public Media, which obtained an email from a general manager at the Marysville, OH plant. In the email, the GM asks for accounting, purchasing, and R&D staff to work on the production floor.

“Regardless of whether or not you wanted to, you could be subject to it,” an employee told WOSU anonymously. “They took volunteers first, but my understanding was they didn’t receive many volunteers for this activity, so then they made it mandatory.” A Honda spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that they were moving staff to production and that it wasn’t the first time.

The email from Honda gives multiple reasons for the shortage, and that includes many workers off after testing positive for COVID-19 or staying in self-isolation and quarantine after possibly being exposed. It also blames the $600 (CAD $800) federal unemployment top-up for making it hard to find temporary workers.

“Due to strong customer demand for our products and the need to carefully manage production during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing some temporary staffing issues that require support from associates who do not typically work in production,” Honda told WOSU.

“I was not very happy about [being moved to assembly] because I’ve really tried hard to socially distance and keep away from other people during this,” the anonymous Honda employee said. “So I felt like being forced to go in to the floor where I know people have had COVID and tested positive for it, I felt very uncomfortable with that.”


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