In its first-quarter 2020 earnings release Wednesday, General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced that it has plans to restart idled production at the majority of its U.S. and Canada facilities on May 18. North and South American plants have been shut down since March due to COVID-19.

GM has implemented safety protocols in its Asian factories. GM will take its learnings from these overseas plants, as well as its Kokomo, Indiana, plant, which has been producing ventilators to support the fight against the pandemic. 

auto assembly line with car frame

Image source: Getty Images.

General Motors has been collaborating with union and government officials regarding a restart of its North American operations. Other automakers, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU), have targeted the middle of May for resuming production. 

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Rory L. Gamble has not openly opposed Fiat Chrysler's target start date of May 18. In a statement yesterday, he said, "the UAW has and continues to have dialogue with all of our employers and employment sectors about the safety and security surrounding reopening worksites."

Regarding the GM announcement, Gamble referred to his statement on Fiat Chrysler. He added, "as for the start date, the companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come at some point. Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be, on health and safety protocols to protect our members."