North American automakers are looking to reopen factories within two weeks according to reports.

On Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said his company plans to start reopening factories May 18. He indicated that would of course depend on easing restrictions from the government.

According to Click on Detroit, the UAW appeared to be onboard which would indicate that the other Detroit automakers will most likely be on the same timetable of opening. Executives from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, UAW officials and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to discuss the opening of the factories and how things will be handled.

Things will be much different when the factories reopen and precautions along with  changes will need to be put in place to adhere to social distancing and keep workers safe. The automotive companies are working on new safety measures for when that time arrives.

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The UAW released a statement and indicated that workers will return to auto plants starting May 18, and it has agreed on safety procedures to protect them. They did however note that under its contracts with Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Ford, the companies have authority to pick restart dates, but the union can file grievances and seek closures if the virus spreads at factories.

“The UAW will fulfill its role to continue to actively monitor and aggressively respond regarding all issues impacting the health and safety of UAW members in whatever manner may be necessary as we return to the worksite,” said union President Rory Gamble in a prepared statement.

Shut down since mid March, Detroit automakers employ about 150,000 factory workers just in the United States.

READ MORE: See how some companies are changing their businesses to combat COVID-19


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