LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Mercedes-Benz Vans plant on Palmetto Commerce Parkway in Ladson is stopping production Monday for the health and safety of their team members, according to a spokesperson.
Hours before the announcement, employees at the Mercedes-Benz Vans Plant in Ladson reached out to Live 5 News saying workers walked out on their shift because of coronavirus concerns.
Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Alyssa Bean says they were already preparing to ramp down its production operations this week.
“As part of our production shutdown, we have implemented a step-by-step disinfection of the entire facility,” Bean said. “This is in addition to other preventative measures we already had in place including but not limited to the following: no external visitors or travel, social distancing and increased cleaning cycles throughout the facility.”
An employee, Sherlena Ward, says she is concerned about her health. She says she works on the assembly line and was in close contact with others. She says she’s not among those who walked out on their shift.
“You can always produce another van, but you can’t produce another life,” Ward said.
Officials have not confirmed whether anyone at the plant tested positive for the virus or has come into contact with someone who did.
Bean said the company does not comment “on the health status of our employees or their families.”
“I am concerned about my health, I’m actually going to take protocols to get tested because with those vans when we are working there you don’t know whose hands have touched what or who has been coughing in those cars," Ward said.
And while they’re out of work, workers now say another concern is pay and if and how long it will continue.
“I’m at higher risk I have asthma and bronchitis and hyperthyroidism so my immune system can shut down just like that," Ward said.