Audi restarts production on June 22 without further extensions

18/06/2020

In what will be the third attempt to reactivate production at the Audi plant in Puebla, the Independent Union of Audi Workers of Mexico (Sitaudi) announced that on Monday June 22nd the first shift will return to work, with 30 percent of the staff, or 1,560 employees.

Through a statement, the general secretary of Sitaudi, Alvaro Lopez Vazquez, announced that the plant will resume work in week 26 (June 22), but of the 5,200 workers that the company has only 30 percent will return, that is 1,560 people who will return.

The union said that there is a possibility that this week additional training and maintenance activities will be scheduled in the three shifts, and also highlighted that non-union workers who do not have activities in weeks 25 and 26, according to their role, the internal scheme of sustainability will be applied.

The luxury car company said that the return to work will be gradual, will be carried out with seriousness and commitment and will be in accordance with the provisions of the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute (IMSS), also said that workers will receive a health security kit in their respective areas.

Social distancing will be applied, both in the facilities and in the transportation of employees, sanitized spaces, and body temperature measurement.

The use of face shields will be permanent inside the plant and workers must arrive at the plant wearing their uniforms. Audi has set up an office to treat respiratory diseases, in order to safeguard the integrity of its employees.

Audi Mexico suspended production at the plant in San Jose Chiapa since last March due to the pandemic generated by the Covid-19, which has claimed the lives of 825 people in the state of Puebla, until this Thursday.

The plant in San Jose Chispa had already tried to reactivate its production on June 1 when it was declared essential to the automotive industry, but due to the wave of contagion in Puebla, the return was postponed until June 15. Without progress in controlling the pandemic, it was decided to postpone it, this time to June 22nd.

Insecurity in Puebla affects Audi production

Due to the climate of insecurity in the state, the company Audi Mexico has suffered robberies of both finished goods and auto parts, said Gabriel Covarrubias Lomeli, president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra), to this end, he asked the state authorities to pay attention to the issue.

The industrialist said that, in material terms, the affectations not only involve loss of goods, but the German company may suffer penalties for delays in delivery of orders, as it carries a rigorous logistics and has agreed on commitments - even with other countries to which they send the model of the vehicle Q5.

"The call I make, and which the company has also made on several occasions, is that vigilance is increased, especially in this area, since they have fallen prey to crime, especially in supplying their suppliers," said the representative of the manufacturing sector brought together in the Business Coordinating Council (CCE).

Engine of labor

Covarrubias Lomelí said that this German company generates jobs in the state of Puebla and surrounding areas (3,800 technical workers), in addition to moving supplies and commercial activity in the area of San José Chiapa, where it is located, and in the eastern region.

The businessman said that, with the insecurity and the violent acts, the physical integrity of the workers who move merchandise, either by road or by train, is compromised. In addition, there are economic losses and the risk of affecting the sales or production of this transnational company.

"The economic loss may result in a decrease in production, in commercial delays that represent sanctions for the company for non-compliance, and that may fall prey to (technical) stoppages," he said.

Although there are no statistics on robberies in this area, Canacintra has detected it as one of the most dangerous, not only in Puebla, but in the country.

Audi Mexico plant in the state of Puebla closed in 2019 with a technical stoppage and opened this year also with an interruption of activities. For the first case, adjustments in production were argued and in the second, it was discussed to address technical issues.