Doosan Bobcat employees say they will be back at work Sunday night
Union President Wilkinson Says Union Leadership Will Be Doing Everything In Its Power To Keep Employees Protected
FARGO, N.D. — In a memo received from a worker at Bobcat, the letter says roughly 500 workers will be going back to work starting Sunday night.
Union President Will Wilkinson says the company is providing workers protective gear like masks and gloves, but he has concerns if that will be enough to protect workers.
“The Smithfield plant is what we are trying to prevent, we are a rural area and a lot of people come in. There are 14 hundred hourly employees at the plant if they come in there and COVID gets in there it will spread like it did at Smithfield. No one is going to die at work while I’m president, that’s not going to happen,” Union President Of United Steelworkers Local 560 Will Wilkinson said.
The Smithfield plant in South Dakota had over 400 confirmed cases of COVID 19 and is now temporarily shut down.
Wilkinson says employees who are more vulnerable are being given two extra weeks to stay home before they may be asked to go back to work.
He says with Covid 19 numbers continuing to increase in the state of North Dakota he’s worried about assembly line workers who usually work close to each other.
“It would be nice to have less people on the lines and having so many people cranking them out, let’s lower the amount of people that we have working in these stalls. It will take longer to make a machine but it will also keep us safer,” Wilkinson said.
He says the company has created a COVID response team that they will be meeting with on Monday to see what steps will be going forward.
He says Union leadership will be doing everything in its power to keep employees protected.
“Making money is one thing, it’s a good job for a reason but there is not enough money there to die there is just not enough,” Wilkinson said.