The automakers’ plans were not opposed by the UAW, which represents the Detroit automakers’ hourly U.S. plant workers. The union had previously said early May was “too soon and too risky” to restart manufacturing. Canada’s Unifor union is letting its local union leaders make the call on returning to work in Canada’s auto plants.
Whitmer, a Democrat, has come under pressure from some Michigan residents and Republican lawmakers to ease her lockdown of the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. She has emphasized a phased approach to reopening the state, addressing regions and businesses that are less affected or better protected.
Whitmer has been mentioned as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and has been a target of criticism from Republican President Donald Trump.
Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, is considered a crucial swing state in the November presidential…