Sonoran Factories Prepare for Possible June 1 Reopening

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - 4:24pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 11:33am

Nogales, Sonora
Ruben Ruiz
Nogales, Sonora, is home to over 100 export manufacturing facilities, which employ roughly 45,000 people in the border city.

Many of Sonora’s numerous export manufacturing plants are preparing for a possible reopening on June 1.

The Mexican government expanded its definition of essential businesses to include mining, construction and the manufacture of transportation equipment, according to a recent decree. Many Sonoran plants specialize in auto parts and similar products. Josh Rubin, with Nogales, Sonora factory shelter firm Javid LLC, is hoping many of the city’s dozens of plants qualify.

“It doesn’t specify as automotive, it doesn’t specify as aerospace, it doesn't specify anything. It just says transportation,” Rubin said. “In my mind, I’m taking that to the best of my ability and saying that constitutes anything that has to do with transportation of people: trains, planes and automobiles basically.”

Plants will need to implement a number of safety protocols, including providing sanitizer, conducting temperature checks, safe distancing and shift changes to avoid large groups, according to a federal document.

Cases have been rising quickly in the state, where more than 1,000 have now been confirmed. As of Tuesday afternoon, 79 had died, including six in Nogales, according to state figures.

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