Hyundai Motor's plant in Alabama, the United States was locked down temporarily as a positive case of COVID-19 was found among its employees.
Hyundai Motor announced on March 19 that the Alabama plant stopped operations on March 18 (local time) after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.
The company has not yet decided when to reopen the plant. "We will set the time to resume the operation of the plant through consultations with U.S. public health officials," a Hyundai Motor official said.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors' European factories are scheduled to go into a shutdown for two weeks in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. The two automakers announced on March 19 that they have decided to close down their factories in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from March 23 to April 3. They made the decision to follow the Czech Republic and Slovak governments’ policies to prevent the spread of the epidemic in Europe. They also took into account employee safety, the prevention of the virus spread and logistical effects from border closures.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor will go ahead with a system of up to 60 working hours a week to offset production damage from plant shutdowns caused by the new coronavirus fiasco and make up for production interruptions in overseas production lines. Currently, Hyundai Motor employees are working for about 48 hours a week by working for eight extra hours on Saturdays. The company plans to increase the work hours to 60 hours a week for the next three months by increasing the number of working hours on weekends. The labor union is reportedly not opposed to increasing working hours.
Hyundai Motor will submit a request for special extension of work hours to the Ministry of Employment and Labor as soon as its consultation with the labor union is over. If a company exceeds 52 working hours per week, the company must obtain approval from the Ministry of Employment and Labor.