As coronavirus continues to wrack America’s workforce, Honda is pulling in office workers to keep its Ohio assembly lines running.
Earlier this week, WOSU Radio reported news of COVID-19 related labor shortages hampering the plant. One employee who spoke to the station anonymously said they’ve “never seen anything like it” in more than five years at Marysville. “They took volunteers first, but my understanding was that they didn’t receive many volunteers for this activity, so then they made it mandatory.” A Honda spokesperson confirmed the move, and said they’d resorted to similar tactics in the past.
Honda’s e-mail to WOSU outlines several challenges ramping up production. As employees call in sick and quarantine, Honda reportedly pulled a certain number of white-collar workers from its accounting, purchasing and research departments to fill the gaps. The spokesperson said, “Due to strong customer demand for our products and the need to carefully manage production during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing some temporary staffing issues that require support from associates who do not typically work in production…and are working diligently to attract and hire associates to support our production needs.”
Honda’s Marysville manufacturing plant currently produces the Accord as well as the Acura ILX and TLX sedans and the NSX supercar. Its East Liberty plant builds the Honda CR-V, Acura RDX and MDX crossovers.