DETROIT — Angst over the novel coronavirus continues to spread at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plants.
FCA said 17 workers in the Warren Truck Assembly Plant's paint shop stopped working over coronavirus concerns. A spokesman confirmed that paint shop operations at the plant have resumed and that production was not affected.
The site in suburban Detroit produces the Ram 1500 Classic pickup and soon will build the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer crossovers. A spokeswoman didn't know how long the paint shop was down.
FCA said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the plant. The UAW didn't immediately have a comment on the situation.
"We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully and are taking all necessary precautions to safeguard the health and welfare of our work force," the company said in a statement.
The Warren episode follows last week's news that a worker at FCA's transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind., tested positive for the coronavirus.
There also was a temporary shutdown last week at the automaker's Windsor Assembly Plant that builds minivans. Production was halted there for about 24 hours. FCA Canada said Unifor began a work refusal late Thursday after one of its members decided to self-quarantine as a precaution because of possible secondary contact with an individual who has undergone testing for the coronavirus. Production resumed Friday afternoon.
Ken Mefford, who works at the Warren plant, had a message for UAW leadership as virus cases continue to rise in the U.S.
"Why in the world are you letting us go into this shop if you know there's a national pandemic and we might get it?" Mefford asked.
Another worker, who declined to be named, said more walk-offs could occur.
"[They have] a few people that were sick and they had enough," the worker said.