The UAW labour union in the US has said that plans to restart automotive manufacturing in early May are ‘too soon’ and ‘too risky’ to its members.

The US auto companies have been planning to start up manufacturing operations in Michigan from May 4, but the latest UAW statement places doubt on that date.

A statement from UAW President Rory Gamble said that the UAW ‘does not believe the scientific data is conclusive that it is safe to have our members back in the workplace’.

The statement also said that not enough testing has been done to ‘really understand the threat our members face’.

‘We want to make sure the scientific data is supportive and every possible health protocols and enhanced protections are in place before UAW members walk into the workplace,” the statement added.

The UAW also said it is in support of extending the ‘stay-at-home’ order.

‘We strongly suggest to our companies in all sectors that an early May date is too soon and too risky to our members, their families and their communities,’ the statement said.

But the statement also said the UAW is happy with the auto companies’ response and cooperation on working through the health and safety protocols that are needed in the workplace when it is appropriate to restart.

In March the UAW, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) formed a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.