Disinfection of machinery, workstations and work tools, the wearing of masks, gloves and overalls, social distancing rules, organised movement in shared areas... Production has been at a standstill since 18 March, but Renault Trucks is now preparing for a slow, gradual and safe resumption of activity in its production sites, constantly following the same baseline approach, namely to protect the health and safety of its employees.

Since the start of the lockdown and despite the temporary interruption in production, Renault Trucks has carried on serving its customers, as far as reasonably possible, by continuing in particular to supply spare parts and repair trucks. These activities are essential to ensure the continuity of vital services to society, especially to transport and deliver basic necessities, medicines and food.

However, although some employees have carried on working, production, sales and R&D have come to a halt and the vast majority of employees have been in short term layoff for almost a month.

Concerning Renault Trucks in France, an agreement has just been unanimously signed by trade unions to ensure fair compensation for these staff members in short term layoff.

Applying until July 3, 2020, the agreement erases the disparities between the different categories of employees, resulting from the legal provisions and the Metallurgy collective agreement, protects the lowest wages and aligns compensation for all employees at 92% of their usual net pay thanks to the solidarity of managers, and thanks to an additional contribution from the company.

“This agreement allows all employees to be treated fairly during this unprecedented crisis period. It enables all employees to get close to 100% of their usual remuneration through a vacation buy-back plan, while safeguarding the company's future," emphasises Bruno Blin, president of Renault Trucks. “In addition to the employees' solidarity, the company is contributing around 8% of the total payroll."

Renault Trucks is planning to resume its activity. Factories in France will be restarted gradually, from April 22, 2020, starting with Lyon-Venissieux Engine Plant. Other Renault Trucks production sites, such as Bourg-en-Bresse and Blainville-sur-Orne assembly plants, should gradually resume their activity in the following weeks. The restart of industrial activity is planned, for all plants, at a very low level. Ramp up will be slow and be spread over several weeks, in line with customer demands, the ability of suppliers to deliver the required provisions, and in synchronization with the other Volvo Group plants.

The industrial restart will be conditioned by the implementation of reinforced health protocols adapted to each site, in consultation with the trade unions and employee representatives. Drawn up by the company's occupational physicians based on the precise route taken by employees, from the cloakroom to their workstation, they aim to eliminate the risk of coming into contact with the virus.

“We will only resume activities if health and safety conditions are exemplary – there will be no compromises. This is why we are envisaging a gradual restart, involving an initial period during which we will be testing the health protocols, as well as the supply chain and logistics, before considering a ramp-up" explained Bruno Blin.

Measures to be taken in Renault Trucks plants include:

  • Applying social distancing rules and protective measures,
  • Widespread use of alternative masks,• Wearing FFP2 masks with goggles or visors and gloves when the one-metre distance cannot be respected,
  • Keeping doors open (except fire doors) to prevent contact with handles,
  • Cleaning of workstations, work tools, logistics equipment, changing rooms and canteens,
  • Organising movement in all common areas, changing rooms, corridors and canteens, extending the opening hours and limiting the number of people present at any given time,
  • Introducing a special seating plan in transport shuttles to guarantee space between passengers.

For sales and research & development entities, the company will favor home office for employees who will have to resume their activity.

In a parallel move, the company's management is examining requests from its customers, dealers and bodywork partners and analysing market trends to adjust production rates for the coming months.

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