Allison Transmission workers calling on Gov. Holcomb to close plant after employee tests positive

Allison Transmission is an American manufacturer that produces transmissions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. (WTHR)
Published:
Updated:

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Employees at Allison Transmission say they're being forced to work in unsafe conditions after a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.​

Management said the employee didn't come in contact with anyone and is under self-quarantine at home.​​

Workers said they were notified Friday in an email from the manufacturer's security department that read in part: ​​

"While this is a frightening time, we must come together in order keep each other safe and to meet our customer's needs. Allison has been designated as a part of the essential critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. We must all do everything we can to ensure the safe continued operation of this business so that it can continue to provide the critical products that are so critical to the safety of the U.S. during this difficult time."​​

"We are petrified to go to work now," one employee, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said.

That employee said she has underlying health conditions and doesn't feel safe going to work.​​

Area where employee worked at Allison Transmission blocked off with caution tape. (Photo provided by anonymous employee)

"There has been one bottle of disinfectant supplied to each department in each plant that is only to be used by the housekeeper, and those plants are too big to wipe anything and everything down. It's just not possible," she said. ​​

Employees said the plant — which produces transmissions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles — should have been shut down, but is staying open because it's considered an "essential employer."​​

"Allison is using that loophole to stay open where they can have more than 10 people in a gathering. You may have 200 people each shift in that plant," another worker, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said.

Employees also said the company has an attendance policy that requires they use their sick leave, but if they have none left and take off, they could be fired.

The company said it enacted "extensive social distancing" and sanitation protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Employees are now calling on Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to take action and close the plant. ​