General Mills has announced that it’s offering healthy office employees temporary work in the company’s manufacturing facilities in order to maintain production levels during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our most important objectives are the continued health and safety of our employees and our ongoing ability to serve our consumers around the world,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills, in a press statement released yesterday. “We see it as imperative that we help ensure a steady and reliable food supply for people and pets.”
General Mills expects increased demand for its cereal, frozen foods, and other products as people stock up and hunker down due to shelter-in-place directives nationwide and internationally. The company also is offering a daily bonus to current plant-essential workers for a minimum of four weeks.
According to General Mills spokesperson Kelsey Roemhildt, the temporary production assignments are intended for employees who are currently working remotely. They may include employees with experience working in a manufacturing plant working directly on the plant floor. Another possibility is having employees without manufacturing experience help with administrative tasks inside the facility.
“We’re still working through details as we move quickly and safely to get this program up and running in support of our employees,” Roemhildt said in an email.
In addition, General Mills announced a number of other actions intended to support employees during the pandemic. Employees who are quarantined either voluntarily or by law, for instance, may be eligible for two weeks of paid leave.
Thus far, there has been one report of a General Mills production employee possibly contracting Covid-19. On Monday, the company said that the employee, who worked in its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, plant, is self-isolating. The plant conducted extra cleaning of the areas where the employee may have been.