Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) will start bringing employees back to work as scheduled on May 4.

But the process to actual production will be gradual with early focus on safety procedures and new protocols due to the coronavirus.

“For the weeks of May 4 and May 11, the majority of TMMK’s operations will be a 32-hour schedule with Fridays being a required PTO/No Pay No Penalty day,” said Rick Hesterberg, communications director. “All team members will remain on their current assigned shift.

“Due to the complexity of TMMK’s operations, including the production of vehicles, engines and component parts for our products and other plants , our start-up plan and schedules will vary. TMMK will not return immediately to normal build pace as production begins. 

“We will focus on orientation to acclimate team members on new protocols and procedures. Due to the extensive non-production period, additional measures are being put into place to ensure team members work conditioning.”

Kentucky’s own required re-orientation protocols will be followed as well including:

—Completion of a required Return to Work Preparedness Survey prior to coming onsite;

—New entry to work protocols, including health screenings/taking temperatures at gates;

—Staggered start/stop times to assist health screenings and social distancing guidelines;

—New social distancing protocols in processes and common areas;

—New sanitizing protocols;

—New requirements, including face coverings.

“As our federal and state governments have deemed transportation and critical manufacturing as essential business, Toyota North America made the decision to resume production in North America,” stated a release from Toyota. “ Many global companies such as Boeing, Mercedes, VW, and Hyundai, have started their return to work. 

“During our non-production time, we assessed our work environment and implemented COVID-19 safety practices to ensure we are doing our part in preventing transmission at work.”

TMMK has about 10,000 employees. All Toyota plants in North America were idled March 23 when an employee at a plant in Canada was diagnosed with COVID-19.


Mike Scogin can be reached at 

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