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All ‘Big Three’ factories to be idled, including Fort Wayne GM plant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP and WPTA21) - Two people briefed on the matter say Detroit's three automakers have agreed to close all of their factories due to worker fears about the coronavirus.

Automakers are expected to release details of the closure later today.

The move would idle one of the largest production facilities in northeast Indiana -- the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly.

More than 4,000 people work at that facility.

It would be the second production stoppage there in a matter of months -- following a 6-week strike last fall.

The United Auto Workers union has been pushing for factories to close because workers are fearful of coming into contact with the virus. 

The closures come after Fiat-Chrysler Automotive and Ford Motor Co. said they were suspending production at Detroit-area plants after workers tested positive for coronavirus.

Fiat-Chrysler closed its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant while Ford closed its Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne.

The automakers made the announcements Wednesday, a day after the employees had tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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