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Nervous workers return to virus-hit plant in Mexico

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:57s - Published
Nervous workers return to virus-hit plant in Mexico

Nervous workers return to virus-hit plant in Mexico

The Lear auto parts plant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is facing an uphill battle to get its employees back to work after it suffered the deadliest factory-related coronavirus outbreak in the Americas.

Gloria Tso reports.

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The site of what is believed to be the deadliest factory outbreak of the coronavirus in the Americas is looking to reopen in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Twenty of the workers at Lear's Rio Bravo auto parts plant died, and the company says it was unable to detect how the virus spread.

Now - mandatory masks are on, and temperatures are set to be checked.

Simply getting into the building -- could take employees up to an hour.

Three employees who spoke to Reuters anonymously say they are fearful to come back... but have no choice as they need the pay.

The plant now faces an uphill battle to win back workers' trust.

Plant worker Alma Sonia Trevizo spoke to Reuters about returning to the factory.

'I feel a bit unsafe.

I feel a bit scared but everything is different than it was before.

There is now a lot security and the precautions they are taking are important but we are all scared.

I don't think you'll find anyone who says they're not scared, but we have to take the first step and go on.'' Lear says the new measures may slash worker productivity by at least a third.

The factory's now lined with cubicle walls and hand sanitizing stations.

Commuter buses will be kept half full, and only about 15% of staffers will return at first.

But the social distancing signs plastered all over the Lear plant make no mention of the outbreak which spawned the new measures, and the lives lost.

Vice President Omar Dominguez says no one saw the outbreak coming.

''It's something that unfortunately couldn't be prevented because we never knew what was happening.

While people were working here, we didn't have any cases where we spotted a possible coronavirus infection.

We never knew.

Our most heartfelt condolences for all these families.'' Lear has still been unable to determine how the virus spread across the factory.

But ten workers in the plant previously told Reuters Lear had minimal protection measures in place before halting production in late March.




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