Over the past several months, we have all been fixated on and shared our universal concerns regarding the significant impact that the global pandemic crisis has had across the world. The COVID-19 crisis has made a lasting impact on all those directly affected as well as on the lives of many of our families, friends, neighbours, and peoples from all walks of life across the world.
Since the early warning signs of this crisis, we at Bombardier Transportation, have rallied together to implement protective measures for all of our employees and have put in place guidelines for proper hygiene, provided employee protective equipment, instituted industrial workplace social distancing and enabled work-from-home tools to provide for business continuity for our customers, while never compromising on our people’s safety. I have stated repeatedly that Employee Safety is our first and foremost responsibility – together, we will overcome!
Today, I choose to communicate to you on a matter of significant importance that requires all of us again, to rally and combat another global crisis – one that has persisted across humanity and one that immediately demands an equally strong and rapid response – I refer to the crisis and ongoing systemic discrimination and racism that permeates our societies.
We should all be appalled by the recent events of the police brutality that led to the unnecessary and awful death of George Floyd, an African American man, in the United States. The reaction in the US and across the globe has certainly demonstrated an outpouring of frustration, anger, and the willingness to speak against the continuous and ongoing racism and discrimination against black people. Black Lives do Matter – and it is not a black issue – it is our issue!
At Bombardier Transportation we are 34,000 people strong and have built over time a diverse community of dedicated employees who care deeply for product safety, customer satisfaction and our shared values. We rely on our strong set of values as articulated in our to provide for a framework of behaviour where our people embrace difference, treat others with respect, and cherish diversity & inclusion as a gift. Together, we stand for this!
But, let me be clear, we will not stand for any form of racism, hatred, violence, inequality or exclusion. We have been, and remain, committed to creating a safe workplace – free from harassment, prejudice or any form of discrimination; a workplace where everyone is treated with compassion and respect. It is not the least we can do; it is what we choose and must do!
From today onward, I would like to ask all of you to reflect, as I will do as well, upon the most recent events that our global society has again witnessed and consider how we can do better. We should all be committed to determining – how we can do better as individuals, as leaders, and as a worldwide organization.
As a first step towards this shared objective, we need to enable and make space for the marginalized voices in our organization to be heard and amplified. By listening and understanding, we can better tailor our actions so that we can be more effective in leading and making tangible changes.
To this end, my personal commitment and immediate action will be to form several focus groups where I can hear first-hand from a section of our diverse employee population to truly understand their sentiments towards discrimination and exclusion and seek to improve our organization from within. The creation of people affinity groups will also create a community enabler to discuss these issues and provide our employees with an opportunity to speak out and lead the change across the company and in our communities where we work and live together. I will personally lead one of these newly found groups and ask my leadership team to participate with to set the tone from the top and foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.
Please join me and the Bombardier Transportation Leadership Team and engage in this critical matter – we owe it to the next generation of employees, our customers and partners to eradicate any form of discrimination and exclusion in our workplace and communities.
Together we stand – Together we move.
Danny Di Perna
President, Bombardier Transportation