Beancounters to the Rescue? Office Staff Keep Honda Production Afloat in Ohio
This isn’t the first time we’ve learned of an “all hands on deck” situation taking place at a U.S. assembly plant. Recall this report from earlier this month, in which sources claimed managers and other white-collar employees hit the floor at General Motors truck plants in a bid to cover absent workers.
It was inevitable, given the reality facing companies hoping to maintain full production amid a viral pandemic. The latest report comes out of Marysville, Ohio — home to an enormous Honda assembly operation. Seems even accountants had to don hardhats.
This week, WOSU Radio reported that office workers at the Honda Marysville Auto Plant were called into action as autoworkers, helping to maintain output of Honda and Acura products as coronavirus cases rise in the state. The station obtained an email from a general manager at the plant, who called on “accounting, purchasing, and research and development” staff to take up temporary positions on the factory floor.
An employee anonymously told the station that it’s the first time they’d ever seen such an action taken, noting that the call-up occurred only after a voluntary effort failed.
“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,” a Honda spokesperson told WOSU.
Workers infected with the illness, quarantined because of exposure to it, or just fearful of it, has made maintaining production a challenge. Currently, GM is seeking out-of-state conscripts for the third shift at its Wentzville, Missouri pickup plant. In Marysville, Honda didn’t have to look that far for help in building Honda Accords and CR-Vs, as well as Acura MDX, ILX, TLX, and RDX models.