BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Boone and Winnebago County Health departments have been investigating positive cases of COVID-19 linked to the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant. More than 3,000 people walk through the doors there every day.
Our team was able to talk to three workers–who wish to remain anonymous–that say despite wearing masks and getting temperature checks at the door, they still worry about their safety when they show up to work.
“You’ll be alright, go back to work and if you don’t go back to work you’re going to be penalized,” said the first anonymous worker.
Belvidere Assembly Plant workers say they see red flags throughout their work spaces. Three employees shared the same concerns and wish to stay anonymous out of fear of losing their jobs.
“If you leave the plant you will receive a point and if you receive 3 points while you’re gone you will be terminated,” explained the first anonymous worker. “[There’s] already been a couple of people here that were terminated because of coronavirus.”
Fiat Chrysler’s Head of Environment, Health, and Safety Greg Rose says employees are given time to disinfect their stations before and after shifts.
“We feel like the operator is the best person to know where the areas, the high touchpoints are and that we can meet the recommendations of CDC and WHO,” Rose said.
Those clocking in at the plant say that’s not the case.
“We used to get 10 minutes to clean your station. Well, what they did last week is they told us you ‘no longer get the 10 minutes to clean your station. You have to go to work,'” explained a second anonymous worker.
“This week, they took that away from our lunchtime and we weren’t able to do that yesterday, and today and word has it, starting September they’re taking away that whole thing,” claimed a third anonymous worker.
“The amount of that time it takes can vary so I’m satisfied that local operations will determine whatever that appropriate time frame is,” Rose ensured.
When someone does test positive or shows symptoms, Rose says outside cleaning crews are called in to disinfect.
“After he had come into work a couple of days sick and management was informed of it and even after being informed they apparently refused to do anything as far as deep cleaning or anything in that area until he had received a test positive himself, which of course he did at the end of the week,” the third anonymous worker said.
“We don’t feel like don’t feel like there’s a whole lot of transparency and we kind of feel like, many people, not just me…they just feel like things are being hidden from us, almost as though it’s intentional,” explained the third anonymous worker.
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