Honda office staff join the assembly line amid worker shortage
Honda Motor Co. is temporarily asking some US office employees to work on the assembly line due to a coronavirus-related staff shortage.
The Japanese automaker has been requiring workers who test positive for Covid-19 and those who work close to them to quarantine. The safety measures have strained Honda’s efforts to keep production running and restock dealerships that are running low on inventory.
“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," Chris Abbruzzese, a Honda spokesman, said in an email. “We have implemented such temporary measures in the past, and are working diligently to attract and hire associates to support our production needs."
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WOSU Public Media, a Columbus, Ohio-area radio station, first reported Honda’s move, citing an internal email sent to staff at its plant in nearby Marysville. A general manager of the factory wrote that the $600-a-week unemployment benefit the federal government instituted in the early stages of the outbreak has made it difficult to find temporary workers.
The Marysville plant produces models including the Accord sedan and CR-V sport utility vehicle.