Because the General Electric Appliance Park was classified as “life sustaining” by the state of Kentucky, GE was able to force its employees to return to work this Monday after a one week hiatus. GE claims that they have taken every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the facility, but guess what happened? I’ll give you three chances to guess. And the first two guesses do not count. Yes, there is a “probable but unconfirmed” coronavirus case at the facility.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A GE Appliances employee is in quarantine with a “probable, but unconfirmed case of COVID-19,” and an Appliance Park building will shut down for 48 hours to be disinfected, GE said in a statement.
The company said Tuesday evening that Building Three will get a thorough cleaning and work will be suspended in the affected area for 14 days. The building as a whole will be closed for 48 hours, and anyone “who works in immediate proximity with the affected employee or who is considered a close work contact” has been asked to self-quarantine at home.
A company spokeswoman would not disclose how many employees it asked to self-quarantine. She also said the company is not considering temporarily shutting down Appliance Park, as “it is a 900-acre facility with five independent manufacturing facilities.”
“We have worked tirelessly to implement new and innovative measures that support an adaptive work environment in all buildings in Appliance Park,” the company said in a statement.
Now, that week off was done to supposedly “clean” the facility, but GE employees have pictures that show grime all over the place. And employees are not working 6 feet apart either. Seems that the company had an state inspector in on Friday to OK everything, but no union representative was on that tour.
Employees had “low expectations” in regards to these measures, said Austin McDowell, a GE Appliance employee of five years who works on an assembly line.
“But, you know, we thought the building would at least be cleaned, or at least there would be an effort,” McDowell told The Courier Journal. “But it looked like there was no effort to clean it all.”
Photos obtained by The Courier Journal showed several areas that had dirt or grime. When asked about the photos, company spokeswoman Julie Wood said she was “confident in the cleaning that was done last week at Appliance Park” and asked to see the photos.
Wood did not respond to the photos or follow-up questions about protective gear for employees.
Connie Mendel deputy director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, said during Mayor Greg Fischer's Monday press briefing on Facebook that she had toured the facility last Friday. She said the company has implemented new safety measures — such as a temperature scan for employees and visitors upon entry.
“They have spread out and cut down the amount of people on the assembly lines, and they’ve installed large plexiglass barriers between many areas,” Mendel said. “They’ve applied different cleaning practices.”
Mendel added that the city's health department is continuing to monitor concerns about the facility.
Here is a link to WHAS 11 News about this:
Oh yeah, the local union president is self quarantined because he believes he has the coronavirus.
No one has answered why a place that makes dishwashers and refrigerators is “life sustaining” and “essential.” And this is an area that I fault Governor Andy Beshear. I generally approve of Beshear’s actions on the coronavirus, but he has not been looking out for the employees of GE.