After standstill – Daimler starts production again

The corona virus pandemic also paralyzed large parts of Daimler’s production. Now the carmaker is gradually starting everything up again. The Group sees itself as a pioneer when it comes to protecting employees.

After four weeks of stoppage in large parts of the production, the carmaker is driving Daimler his works up again from this Monday. One focus is on drive and transmission technology, an area that not only the other plants in Germany, but also those abroad and especially in China are instructed. While some locations begin with one shift, others are supposed to work in two or three shifts again, as Wilfried Porth, Chief Human Resources Officer, and General Works Council Chairman Michael Brecht said.

“We are still significantly reduced in terms of production,” said Porth. The supply chains had generally held up and the start in China, which had been going on for a few weeks, had worked well. “We have even bigger issues in Europe in Italy, France is also extremely restricted,” said Porth. However, the attempts now planned are secured.

Work under strict hygiene regulations

The work is to be carried out under strict hygiene requirements, which the Group and the works council would have drawn up based on hazard assessments for each workplace. “The catalog that emerged from this is in principle the catalog that was incorporated as a basis in the recommendation of the (industry association) VDA and in the end also in the considerations of the federal government,” said Porth. “We did a lot of preparatory work there.”

To ensure that the employees have no more contact with each other than necessary, the shifts are not fully occupied and the shift times are changed so that the employees meet neither at the factory gate nor in the changing rooms. Where possible, work should continue from the home office. “We always said that when we start again, the risk of infection should be lower for us than outside the company,” said Brecht.

Daimler drives completely on sight

Daimler had shut down a large part of its production in March, and has also applied since April 6 Short-time workwhich, according to the current status, should only expire at the end of April. Around 80 percent of the approximately 170,000 employees in Germany are affected to different degrees.

When Daimler could bring production back to the pre-crisis level is unclear. “We still don’t know how the market will react,” said Brecht. You are currently driving completely on sight and decide from week to week how to proceed.

Also what economic consequences the Corona crisis will not be foreseeable, both emphasized. “Obviously something is breaking away at the moment that no one knows if it’s catchable,” said Porth. However, should the demand level off below what the group had based on in its planning, it was also clear that the previous savings targets and the planned job cuts were not sufficient. “The fact that we will need to adjust is obvious,” said Porth. You then have to see how this is implemented.

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