The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plants in Hannover and in Poland at Poznań and Września are to gradually start production again at reduced capacity levels from Monday 27 April after a shutdown of what will by then be just over five weeks. The start-up process will be based on the latest availability of parts, the conditions set out by the German Government and the EU, developments in the sales markets and the operational approach in production that arises from this. Independent of these factors, adherence to extensive measures to protect workers’ health will always be the top priority.
Josef Baumert, Board of Management Member for Production and Logistics at VWCV: “We are pleased that we are shortly going to be able to start up our production operation again on a staggered, step-by-step basis. Protecting our employees’ health has absolute priority in this process. We have developed a comprehensive package of measures for this and are already working intensively in small teams on preparing the plants, in order, for example, to be able to maintain appropriate distances, to implement higher hygiene standards and, where necessary, to provide protective equipment. We are also continuing to watch the situation very closely. The dialogue and the approach taken within the Group, as well as, for example, the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute continue to play a key part in how we proceed.”
“It is a good signal for the economy and the public, if we are able to show a way forward out of the shutdown. For us as the Works Council too the health of our colleagues is the core focus. We will therefore be watching the entire development in connection with Covid-19 extremely closely. With the factory agreement endorsed by the entire works council we have created a good framework for the resumption of production in Hannover, reconciling economic interests and the protection of the workforce”, says Bertina Murkovic, Chair of the VWCV Works Council.
Over the last few weeks, a 100-point plan has been drawn up within the Volkswagen Group designed to enable production to resume while fully taking the protection of workers’ health into account. All measures apply also to outside companies and suppliers working on the factory sites. “Together we have to date led our teams safely through the coronavirus crisis. The production shutdown coupled with lots of work being done from home was the only and the right decision to take. The implementation of this unique undertaking has worked very well. Now, during the restart too we will not be letting up and will be implementing the comprehensive safety and hygiene measures very rigorously”, explains Thomas Edig, VWCV Board of Management Member responsible for HR.
As part of the resumption process the company is massively extending the health precaution measures even further based on the recommendations of the health authorities. Processes in production are being optimised, and rigorous minimum distances and increased hygiene standards also apply in all areas. The list of measures includes concrete rules on hygiene and maintaining distances, mandatory shielding of mouth and nose in areas where keeping 1.5 metres apart is not possible, more frequent cleaning, staggering the start and end of shifts in order to avoid contact and encouraging all workers to take their own temperature prior to starting work each day.