At Bombardier Transportation, nothing is more important than safety. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this global crisis. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and have taken decisive action to protect our employees, customers, partners and their families against the global coronavirus pandemic. In parallel, we remained focused on supporting the worldwide full resumption of safe and reliable rail service as soon as the situation allows.
Here is what we have done so far to mitigate the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on our business and our employees:
Bombardier Transportation remains fully committed to taking the necessary actions to protect our employees around the world while maintaining our commitments to customers and ensuring safe, responsible and continuous service operations worldwide. We are closely monitoring this situation and are communicating regularly with our employees, suppliers and customers to best meet this global challenge together.
We're proud to have our new President Éric Martel visit our Prototype Centre in St-Bruno, where our team is busy assembling 40,000 medical visors to be distributed to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in Quebec. This is the kind of action and innovation that is at the heart of the Bombardier DNA, and is very inspiring to see in these challenging times.
We have a total of 40 sites in North America and 3300 people providing essential services to the toughest hit neighbourhoods. Our main goal is to continue providing reliable train service during this difficult time, to ensure the public can get to their jobs and home again. For example, Metrolinx is serving the Greater Toronto Area and JFK Airtrain and PI is serving JFK, Queens NY and NYCT. With 740 train starts per day, 11 commuter/light rail O&M sites and 2000 assets, we’re well prepared to keep these North American cities moving.
We have introduced numerous COVID-19 measures to keep our German sites open with the objective of maintaining employee health and ensuring them with the ability to work. New measures added include early set-up of pandemic planning & bi-weekly updates for all sites, immediate isolation for people showing symptoms, intensified cleaning and 1.5 metres distancing was introduced. In addition, shifts were added to reduce contact between employees, home office is supported and a COVID-19 questionnaire was provided to employees to ensure they know how to handle customer acceptance tests, suppliers, visitors and site leadership.
New work practices and COVID-19 measures were put in place after a short production break. These included distancing at production, temperature checks prior to arrival, restricting team sizes and increasing disinfection to keep everyone safe. The site re-started on March 30 with 100 employees – focus was on six trains ready out of production. We also had a customer visit our site on April 1, who was impressed with our actions and progress.
Our team in Israel is focusing on crucial preparations to ensure our next red double-deck trainset is delivered smoothly to our customer Israel Railways. Michael Marulski, our Project Manager in Israel, and all employees involved in the project from both Bombardier Transportation and MTR have made great progress towards successfully completing this milestone, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Thunder Bay Plant has landed a new opportunity to assist O-Two Medical Technologies by manufacturing 18,000 units of e700 portable ventilators to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This new project is creating work for around 40-50 employees for three to four months. As a result, we're calling back around 35 employees to produce these life saving devices for the Ontario Government.
Our site in Cluj is committed to supporting their employees on the frontlines and those suffering from the coronavirus. As a result, we donated to Crucea Rosie Cluj and the Beard Brothers, who are ensuring doctors and medical staff in Cluj have the vital equipment required to save lives and fight COVID-19. We’re also ensuring the safety of all our colleagues by asking them to work from home and to support each other, so we can surpass this difficult time and live in a safer world again.
Our Belgium team has donated masks to three institutions in Bruges including Lourdes Hospital, who gave us protective equipment and helped us with CPR training during COVID-19 and CAW, a general care centre, who supported people such as the elderly needing to go to the hospital. We also donated masks to OCMW Brugge, the City of Bruges's department for general well-being. They coordinated the masks for the entire city and gave them to hospitals, centres for the elderly and home nursing units.
Our site in Crespin welcomed back around 60 employees, after being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as well as reorganized. All new staff attended the compulsory training sessions to understand the instructions on COVID-19 protection measures, such as compulsory mask wearing. These were followed with questions and exchanges between participants and trainers and led to identifying further improvements on site.
Our Trápaga factory in País Vasco has resumed its operations after several days of closure due to COVID-19. Additional protective hygiene and safety measures have now been carefully implemented to ensure the overall safety of our employees while the coronavirus pandemic is still in full force.
Our manufacturing sites in Savli and Maneja near Vadodara in India have resumed operations following the government's COVID-19 relaxation guidelines for industries. Our employees in India will now continue to deliver rail solutions for our local customers and exports overseas.
Our Thunder Bay team is back to work with enhanced safety, sanitation and hygiene measures to help keep our employees, our business and our community thriving.
The Centre d’urgence St-Laurent has requested our help in developing much needed Personal Protective Equipment for clinical staff to fight COVID-19. Within hours, a small team had been created to work on a prototype, and afterwards our Prototype Centre in St-Bruno was transformed into a visor production facility, leveraging the supply chains of Bombardier Aviation and BRP. We’re proud to share that The Centre d’urgence St-Laurent received their first delivery and the Government of Quebec ordered 40,000 more of these made in Quebec visors.
Our employees in India initiated a voluntary program to each donate one day of their annual leave to support the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund). Its aim is to fight and contain the COVID-19 outbreak - and prepare for similar pandemics in the future. Donation participation was optional for all employees.
Our site in Bruges opened its doors again after a closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. Laurent Bouyer, our President in France/Benelux visited the Bruges work site to see the new protective work conditions and greet employees on their first day back at work. The Bruges site is slowly resuming our work operations and is providing training sessions to ensure the employees starting back at work understand the new protective measures put in place for their safety.
Our Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd. (BST) joint venture's Sifang projects have also resumed with assembly of the Fuxinghao New Chinese Standard high-speed trains returning to normal production of one car per-day.
Decisive action taken by our leadership, and the great cooperation from our workforce in China have prevented any of our more-than 8,000 employees there from contracting the virus and has enabled all our eight Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprises and offices, as well as, seven Chinese joint venture sites to resume full works and production.
Volunteer Teams, created by employees from our JV, the Shentong Bombardier Shanghai Rail Transit Vehicle Maintenance Company, took up the fight by cleaning and disinfecting Shanghai metro trains overnight.
Bombardier Services teams, together with colleagues from Toronoto's GO TRANSIT worked together to disinfect passenger areas on the Union Pearson Express train in Ontario, Canada.
Our colleagues in Canada took extra precautions while cleaning trains in order to help protect passengers, staff and themselves from spreading the COVID-19 virus.
The ITC Team also continued with their commissioning work to ensure the safe operation of the Changzhou subway.
Temperatures were taken the second time in the afternoon and once again before boarding the shuttle bus that takes employees home at the end of the day.
Leadership took action to safeguard its employees by providing presonal protective equipment like masks, protective clothing and goggles to every site across the country.
14 Apr 2020 Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have tried to follow three important principles: to protect all our employees from COVID-19, to support the government's efforts to tackle the virus and ensure sustainable business continuity.
As a result, we paused our operations at our Derby, Crewe and Ilford sites to introduce new COVID-19 measures to provide a safer and more sustainable work environment.
This week we're re-starting our operations at these UK sites. Watch Matt Byrne, our UK & Ireland President, explain how we're protecting our people from COVID-19.
Explore our social media channels to keep up with our latest news on COVID-19.
1 Apr 2020 Gina Trombley, our VP of Services for the Americas, shares a video message recognizing the 3,000 Bombardier operations and maintenance #services employees and all transit workers across the U.S. and Canada who are keeping the region moving during the #coronavirus pandemic.