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Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Automotive Workers

Global magnitude pandemics such as the Spanish flu of 1918 and the COVID-19 pandemic scathe societal economic, social, and public health stability due to their unforeseen nature. They bring profound changes that political administrative systems’ restorative actions hardly keep pace. These historical or current pandemics, such as COVID-19, often have considerable negative repercussions on the population and societies in general. In the automotive industry, the Covid-19 pandemic increased occupational health threats that workers had not anticipated and employers were unprepared to encounter. As such, automotive workers face multiple challenges not limited to job loss, compromised mental well-being, and transition to remote work.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp rise in job loss among automotive workers. Job creation has been relatively high in the automotive industries, increasing employment. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive hits in the labor market, causing the unemployment rate to shoot and forcing many workers, especially short-term workers, to lose or quit their jobs. Due to the unplanned lockdown announced by different governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, automotive industries faced a reduced demand for automobiles, prompting them to lay off some workers. For instance, The Association of European Enterprises confirms that following the break of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of new cars in countries such as Russia dropped by about 72.4% in 2020 compared to the previous year (Frieske & Stieler, 2021). Thus, with a decline in demand, different automotive industries, such as KIA and Toyota, were forced to engage in cost-cutting procedures like reducing the number of their employees. This action left some employees jobless and helpless. Also, Rodoplu et al. (2022) further stated that the COVID-19 pandemic created a sense of concern and threat to the working population as millions lost their jobs. Truly, the Covid-19 crisis was a strong blow to automotive workers as the majority of them experienced a massive loss of jobs.

The pandemic exposed automotive workers to health and safety risks. Governmental restrictions and job destruction during covid-19 outbreak have been associated with depressive symptoms and psychological distress. Nayak et al. (2022) confirm that the Covid-19 crisis deteriorated working conditions among employees, causing most of them to experience mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Automotive workers who commuted from work and had rich social lives outdoors found themselves in a compulsory work-from-home condition an aspect that affected their mental statuses (Nayak et al., 2022). Besides, fear of furlough or loss of jobs following uncertainty and conflicting messages from the authorities on the projection of the plaque effects were also the chief factors that compromised the quality of mental health and wellbeing of the automotive workers since they lived in fear of losing their jobs (Laskaris et al., 2022). Young adults, women, and employees with chronic diseases were the groups that were greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis following the pandemic-related family and financial stressors. For example, in a study survey of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, 1165 employees who responded to the survey between May and October 2021, 17.8% of them recorded having recurrent symptoms of depressive symptoms and anxiety (Laskaris et al., 2022). Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic was a misery to automotive workers since it presented a climate culture that was a threat to their mental health and overall well-being.

Another challenge that automotive workers faced was the transition to work from home. Following the safety procedures that different governments established, a report from Eurofound confirms that many automotive industries subjected some of their workers to mandatory work from home to manage the virus’s transmission rate (Tušl et al., 2021). Tušl et al. (2021) further stated that workers subjected to mandatory work-from-home raised unending complaints that their private lives had worsened. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, some workers considered working from home beneficial, believing it would follow their preferences. Unfortunately, they were disappointed as mandatory remote working exposed them to multiple challenges and adjustments, such as organizing workspace at their homes, coping with work isolation, establishing new communication channels with their colleagues, and balancing work and non-work (Tušl et al., 2021). As such, with little or no assistance from the employers or enough resources to contain these unplanned adjustments, the transition of work became a burden that affected these employees’ work performance.

Overall, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a great blow to the world, causing humanity and the economy distress. It has disrupted the economic and social activities of the people across the globe. Due to lockdown policies and disruptions, automotive workers were exposed to many challenges, such as losing their jobs and transitioning to remote work. At the same time, some of them experienced mental health challenges due to work-related stressors. However, adopting safety and medication procedures has assisted in restoring hope not only to the automotive workers but all workforces across the globe.


Frieske, B., & Stieler, S. (2021). Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the automotive industry in Baden-Wuerttemberg and its supply chains.

The article analyses the influence that Covid-19 has had on Baden-Wuerttemberg’s automotive industry. The resource is credible because the authors are experts in the field as Frieske is an expert in strategy, technology, and innovation Management. The article presents an understanding of the severity of the reduction in automotive sales which is crucial when developing measures to address the crisis from a company perspective.

Laskaris, Z., Fleischer, N. L., Burgard, S., & Eisenberg, J. N. (2022). Personal and work-related factors associated with mental health among auto workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Preventive medicine reports30, 102001.

The article explores the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on non-healthcare workers such loosing of jobs and the factors associated with mental health among auto workers in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article is credible as it was published on a well known and reliable website, ScienceDirect, which is outstanding in such research. The article generally offered an understanding of the percentage of employees with symptoms of depression and anxiety because of unemployement as a result of Covid-19.

Nayak, J., Mishra, M., Naik, B., Swapnarekha, H., Cengiz, K., & Shanmuganathan, V. (2022). An impact study of COVID-19 on six different industries: Automobile, energy and power, agriculture, education, travel and tourism and consumer electronics. Expert systems39(3), e12677.

The authors examine the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and humanity by analyzing six different industries in the automobile industry. The article is credible as it was published as a survey article and followed a peer-reviewed process. The article was used to present an understanding of the mental effects of a compulsory working-from-home condition as a result of covid-19.

Rodoplu Şahin, D., Aslan, M., Demirkaya, H., & Ateşoğlu, H. (2022). The effect of COVID-19 on employees’ mental health. Scientific reports12(1), 15067.

The article likely explores the impact of long lockdowns, food shortages, and lack of primary healthcare on the mental health of employees. The website, scientific reports, and the Sahin is a medical doctor with extensive expertise in research. Through the article, it is clear how COVID-19 poses a threat regarding loss of jobs and falling behind.

Tušl, M., Brauchli, R., Kerksieck, P., & Bauer, G. F. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on work and private life, mental well-being and self-rated health in German and Swiss employees: A cross-sectional online survey. BMC Public Health21, 1-15.

The article explores how the changes as a result of covid 19, such as changes in how people work and live their personal lives contributed to their mental health issues. The article is credible as it was published on the BMC Public Health website. The article was essential in understanding the numerous challenges that people had to undergo in order to adhere to covid-19 regulations and the necessary adjustments to their lives.


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