by Joanie Martin, Chief Administrative Officer, Michelin
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelin’s No. 1 priority has been the long-term health, safety and well-being of our employees, their families and the surrounding communities. As a Michelin employee for more than 23 years, I am especially proud of the resilience and agility demonstrated by our organization and employees during this unprecedented time.
As a sustainable mobility company, Michelin is focused on giving people a better way forward. This commitment has and will continue to guide our leadership team as we care for our customers, employees and business. With more than 20,000 employees in the United States and Canada, we are continuing to adjust to new ways of living and working during the pandemic recovery.
Throughout this crisis, I have been especially grateful for the unwavering support of our people who are the heartbeat of our company. Together, we have found new and innovative ways of working to move our business forward despite many challenges and a predominantly remote work environment. While a portion of our manufacturing sites were idled due to broad effects of the COVID-19 response, several of Michelin’s plants in the Upstate continue to operate at full or reduced capacity. Many of these plants are responsible for supplying tires for vehicles that are essential to keeping our country running, including ambulances, firetrucks, military vehicles and trucks that carry goods across the country.
In addition, our company is proud to play an active part in the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, both by increasing the number of masks it donates to healthcare workers in the countries where it operates, and by providing masks to its employees across the globe.
Michelin North America recently donated 700,000 masks to hospitals, medical facilities and essential businesses with a critical need for these supplies. Donations were delivered to the medical communities in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina in the U.S., and Nova Scotia and Quebec in Canada.
In response to the challenges faced by long-haul truck drivers from restaurant and rest stop closures, Michelin sites in Canada and the U.S., provided free lunches during the month of May as a way of expressing gratitude to these essential workers.
As we gradually ramp up our corporate offices and slowly bring employees back onsite after months of remote work, I have enjoyed seeing colleagues and collaborating in person. This ramp-up started with a small percentage of those employees returning to the office beginning last month. By following established state and local health guidelines closely, we are keeping employees’ health and safety as the highest priority concerning staffing and other operational decisions.
Across all of our sites, we’re continuing to follow CDC guidelines and a number of health and safety measures have been implemented: adjusting shift schedules to allow extra time for social distancing on arrival and departure; disinfecting every work station before and after each shift; employees participating in personal health screenings prior to facility admittance; measuring every task in the plants for 6-foot separation; providing ample stocks of masks for all employees, including those whose tasks don’t allow 6-foot separation; and adding staff and frequency for cleaning common areas like breakrooms and restrooms.
As we look to the future, Michelin is prepared to continue to meet the needs of evolving mobility behaviors as we serve our customers and communities through the recovery period and beyond. We look forward to strengthened partnerships and collaboration with our local community and business partners as we face unknown challenges together.