At least 4 Fayetteville Goodyear employees test positive for COVID-19

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — At least four employees at the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville have tested positive for COVID-19, says Terry Brewington, president of United Steelworkers Local 959.

Brewington represents more than 2,000 Goodyear employees who work at the Fayetteville plant.

The company temporarily closed the plant in March due to a “sharp decline in demand” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My members voiced strongly they were wanting to stay out until it was safe, but we did have to come back in,” Brewington said.

Terry says the plant opened back up about two weeks ago and is operating with about half of their normal staff.

“Everybody is scared to death about it, and I am too,” Brewington said. “I was trying to negotiate with the company to hold out as long as we could until we had better control of the virus.”

The company says they are prioritizing the health and wellbeing of employees, and they’re following CDC guidelines to keep them safe.

But, Terry says not everyone is able to stay six feet apart while working and he’s worried more cases will arise.

“There are some jobs that you do have to work side by side, and that’s some of our biggest concerns because in order to perform our duties there are sometimes when people are really close,” Brewington said. “We do our best to try to protect our members and their families, We pray that we do the best we can and make the right decisions.”

The full statement from Goodyear:

Goodyear can confirm that there have been isolated cases of COVID-19 among associates at our manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Upon learning of a diagnosis, Goodyear immediately implements our response protocol which includes identifying associates for self-quarantine and facility cleaning and disinfection.

In March, Goodyear announced the temporary suspension of manufacturing operations in the Americas due to the sharp decline in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goodyear has begun a phased restart of tire production with production plans based on an evaluation of market demand signals, inventory and supply levels, as well as the company’s ability to safeguard the health of its associates.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodyear has prioritized the health and well-being of its associates and the communities where it operates. The company is implementing protocols covering employee screening and other protective measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure the safety and well-being of its associates as operations resume.

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