Log of Past Posts
What You Need to Know
As of May 13, 2020
- Every assembly line exceeded the plan as Powertrain Production safely restarted in Hagerstown last week. “Our ways of working that make sure everyone is safe are at a new level in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” shares Marcus Minkkinen, VP & Plant Manager. “I am extremely impressed with the true team effort. It is an extraordinary comeback, and I thank everyone for the fantastic work!”
- The latest FAQ is now available.
- We continue to assess anti-fog solutions to address the increased fogging of safety glasses when wearing a face cover.
- All microwaves and refrigerators are now open with resources to minimize touchpoints and apply social distancing.
- On Mon. May 18, the site café is scheduled to re-open with adjusted times and limited offerings.
- All food and drink will be prepackaged/prewrapped.
- Payments must be made on the designated side of registers.
- Floor markings will clarify social distancing and flow throughout the serving area.
- Hours are:
6 AM – 9:45 AM
10:30 AM – 1:20 PM
5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
As of May 1, 2020
- Powertrain will restart production on Mon. May 4 with staggered shift & break times.
- On Monday, all Volvo Group Trucks Hagerstown employees will receive a COVID-19 Employee Handbook upon arrival which shares the new ways of working when in our facility, including:
- Mandatory temperature checks
- Mandatory face coverings
- Social distancing & minimizing touch points
- Until Monday, click here to view more details about what you need to know.
- Everyone is invited to join a brief Welcome Back message at the start of your shift, led by Marcus Minkkinen.
- Join at 6:40 AM, 7:10 AM, 7:30 AM, 3:40 PM, or 4:10 PM,
- Call 877-748-8068 and enter Conference ID 5669173
- Four entrances/turnstiles will be open with mandatory temperature checks at the noted times:
- North/Medical Center/Security, 5:30AM – 4PM & 9:30 – 10PM
- West Turnstile/Administration, 6:30 – 8AM & 3 – 4PM
- Southeast (by Core Processing), 6 – 7:30AM & 2:30 – 4PM
- Engine Development Lab 3rd Floor, 6:30 – 8AM
- NBU employees (not in production) are requested to arrive at/after 7 AM, to enable efficient flow of production employees through the checks.
- Anyone entering the facility outside of the scheduled times must be checked at the Maugans Avenue gate or at the North/Security Office entrance.
- Resources are limited, so East and Southwest entrances will remain closed at this time.
- Everyone will be asked the following 3 questions at the temperature check:
- To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity with someone suspected to have or diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days (lived in the same home, been within 6 feet in the same room, vehicle, plane, cruise ship)?
- Are you feeling ill at this time or experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills/muscle aches)?
- Have you or anyone with whom you have close contact traveled internationally in the last 14 days?
- Employees will not be permitted to work in our facility if any answers are 'yes' or when their temperature is 100.4F or higher and will receive a packet of information advising next steps and when it is OK to return back to the facility.
- The cafeteria & fitness center will remain closed.
- You are encouraged to bring non-perishable meals (microwaves and refrigerators are closed at this time).
- Water and coffee stations are open.
- Family First Medical Center & Pharmacy will return to normal hours of operation.
- The Pennsylvania Avenue gate will re-open.
As of April 23, 2020
- Powertrain Production is suspended until Friday, May 1.
- Start of production is scheduled for Monday, May 4.
- Temperature checks are being piloted this week and next.
- Recommending that everyone bring and use a face cover or mask at work; disposable and reuseable masks have been ordered and will be made available upon receipt.
- Marcus Minkkinen held another online meeting for all GTO PTP employees:
- Click here for links to the recorded GTO PTP meetings: Session 1 & 2.
- A GTO PTP employee Session 3 is scheduled for Thursday, April 30, 2-3 PM; limited to no more than 1,000 participants.
- The session will be recorded and posted to this website, available to all Volvo Group Trucks colleagues on May 1.
If you are a PTP employee and want to connect to the meeting and receive the presentation material, please share your personal email, just click here.
As of April 20, 2020
- Marcus Minkkinen will hold another online meeting for all GTO PTP employees | Wednesday, April 22, at 1 PM
- If you are a Production employee and have not received the Outlook meeting notice, please click here to share your personal email address.
- The live online meeting is limited to no more than 1,000 participants.
- On Thursday morning, a recorded version of the online meeting will be posted and available to all Hagerstown colleagues.
As of April 15, 2020
- Yesterday Marcus Minkkinen held an online meeting for all GTO Powertrain Production employees. The session was not initially offered to all Hagerstown employees because the Skype connection allowed for no more than 1,000 participants.
- Click here to view the recorded 40-minute presentation. The recording of the live question & answer portion stops after only 10 minutes.
- If you have questions/reflections as you watch the message, we invite you to share them by going to menti.com and use the code 19 81 79. We will post a new Q&A on our website in the coming days; we will send a text alert when it's posted.
- The recorded presentation is CONFIDENTIAL - INTERNAL USE ONLY - INTENDED FOR EMPLOYEES WORKING AT THE VOLVO GROUP TRUCKS HAGERSTOWN SITE.
As of April 9 @ 5 PM
- Alert to all Powertrain Production employees, Marcus plans to hold an online session on Tuesday, April 14, from 2:30 – 4 PM. You will be able to view the presentation while listening to his message and participate in a live Question & Answer segment. We need your email address if you do not have access to a Volvo-issued computer/device. We will only use your personal email address to reach you during this COVID-19 crisis. It will not be shared or used for any other communication purposes going forward. Click here to provide, and thank you. Your participation is optional.
- As we shared in early January, the North American Truck Market was expected to be down nearly 30% after 2 years of extremely high volumes. Late February we announced that we planned to reduce our number of Powertrain Production employees by more than 100 and make these changes with incentivized retirements and general lay-offs. This week we say thank you for your service and bid farewell to 41 colleagues who have decided to accept the incentivized retirement. Unfortunately at the same time, 98 valued team members are being placed on general layoff, and to them we say thank you for your commitment, making it possible for us to deliver the most engines, transmissions and axles in the history of our plant. All are entitled to benefits pursuant to state law and the prevailing Collective Bargaining Agreements, and we look forward to the business opportunity when we may begin inviting these colleagues back to work with us.
- Today, we delivered an additional 174 face shields and 14 ear protectors to Meritus Medical Center.
- Yesterday, we delivered a weekly supply of healthy snacks to the Hagerstown YMCA Child Care Center.
- Core Processing is scheduled to start-up with 15 employees, single (1st) shift, Monday, April 13, applying CDC and WHO guidelines while responding to the growing demand from our dealers and customers.
- Christine Moats, Staywell Coordinator, invites you to contact her if you want to participate in the latest Health for Life activity @ christine [dot] moats [at] consultant [dot] volvo [dot] com or call 301-573-6495.
- Attention non-bargaining unit employees with access to SAP, please make sure your emergency contact information is up to date. See Personal Information tab, and select Personal Profile; then under Address, select the Emergency Contact tab. This link takes you to SAP.
- Effective April 8, we have sanitized and closed the majority of the entry/turnstiles into/out of our plant. Employees working on-site are directed to use the North/Medical Center/Security or EDL West 3rd Floor doors (the turnstile at the bottom of the West steps is closed).
As of April 6 at 5 PM
- Powertrain Production will be suspended until at least Friday, April 17; this informed decision is based on what we know today.
- The decision for Core Processing is pending at this time.
- We continue to respond to local needs:
- We delivered 148 face shields to Meritus Health this morning. A GTT/GTO team of engineers are 3D printing effective, comfortable, light-weight, and low-cost face shields on company and personal printers. After getting approval from Meritus staff, the team shared this design (that prints 4-5 times faster than previous versions!) with Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown Community College, and Shepherd University.
- If you are a bargaining-unit employee and having difficulty with your 401K response related to the Mack/UAW Profit Sharing Plan, Dave Fowler welcomes you to contact him for support @ 301-660-9673.
As of April 2 at 4:30 PM
- Click here to view today's message from Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President & CEO.
- Volvo Group offers Health AdovcateTM services at no cost to you; access a FREE webinar (recorded) "Establishing Emotional Balance in Challenging Times: Tools & Techniques to Manage Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak.
- We are responding to local needs; yesterday:
- GTT Powertrain Engineering Lab team members delivered 80 N-95 masks to Meritus Hospital. "Thank you so much for your support during this challenging time!" Dr. Joshi, Meritus Health President & CEO.
- The Hagerstown YMCA has been mandated to provide child care for those on the front lines, including medical professionals and first responders. They're in need of food items, and we responded with a food delivery, including clementines and string cheese. "Thank you so much. You guys are awesome!" Maria Rubeling, YMCA Hagerstown CEO.
- We are shippping service parts to dealers, keeping our customers' trucks on the road and delivering essential goods.
- Powertrain Production & Core Processing are suspended until at least Friday, April 10.
- Per clarification of the Contract, the business holiday will not be moved.
- Only bargaining-unit employees working next week will be eligible for the holiday.
- Employees who are on lay-off will be ineligible for the holiday and will continue to collect subpay and unemployment benefits.
- If you are a bargaining-unit employee, click here to view information related to your Mack/UAW Profit Sharing Plan for 2019.
- Effective tomorrow (Friday) until further notice, Family First Medical Center & Pharmacy hours will be adjusted to 7 AM - 4 PM. Telephonic visits are an option, and the Pharmacy is offering free FedEx of refills that can be mailed, 240-500-3764.
- Power Day 2020 is cancelled; hold the date for a 2021 event, Saturday, June 26.
As of March 31 at 2 PM
- If you already have an open claim for unemployment benefits, continue to complete your weekly WEBCERT or TELECERT against your open claim, until you return to work or unless you are advised differently by Maryland Department of Labor.
- Reman Core Processing updated their decision and suspended operations effective 11 AM today through at least next week, April 10.
As of March 30 at 3 PM
- GTO Powertrain Production is suspended through at least next week, April 10.
- Affected Shop & Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit (BU) employees are advised to apply for unemployment benefits.
- A limited number of Powertrain Production employees are performing essential activities on-site
- Reman Core Processing is working and will continue to operate with a limited number of employees effective today.
- The GTT Powertrain Engineering Lab continues to be in operation with a limited number of employees.
- All employees required to be on-site are being given personalized letters of authorization to travel.
- All other employees who work at the Hagerstown site are directed to work remotely following Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's "stay-at-home" order.
As of March 29 at 6 PM
- GTO Powertrain Production will be suspended this week, and affected Shop & Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit (BU) employees are advised to apply for unemployment benefits.
- GTO Powertrain Production Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) employees are directed to work from home.
- The Powertrain Production leadership / crisis team will be on-site Monday to consider the latest official facts and guidelines while preparing scenarios for when and how we will make an informed decision to start production.
- Volvo Trucks New River Valley plant is defining a process to run at a reduced rate on day shift starting tomorrow, and we will learn from their experiences, protecting employees' health and ability to make a living.
As of March 28 at Noon
- If you have Sprint as your mobile carrier, unfortunately, our text alerts have not been reaching you since Thurs, 3/19. The cause is finally defined and a solution is implemented.
- Our local text alerts are available by texting 'volvohag' to 313131.
As of March 26 at 12:30 PM
- Follow-up for our Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit Employees who may not be familiar with the unemployment benefit process.
- Count on the Maryland Department of Labor and their website
- Your next step will be to certify your claim, starting this Sunday.
- From the website, click on "File Your WEBCERT" (it's the 4th bullet under Applicants in the left hand margin)
- A TELECERT option is also possible by calling 410-949-0022.
As of March 25 at 2:30 PM
Update from GTO Powertrain Production Leadership:
- We are thinking about you, and we hope you and your family are well.
- Our objective is to protect you, protect our business, and protect society.
- We care about you, and our decisions are guided by the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
- Updates reflect a moment in time and are likely to change rapidly as the situation evolves.
- At this time, we know that:
- Powertrain production will be suspended next week, week of March 30, and affected Shop & Skilled Trades Bargaining Unit employees may apply for unemployment.
- Decisions related to this suspension are being made on a week to week basis.
- We recognize it is difficult not having an intended return to work date.
- We are working with different scenarios, including potential return to work dates, but it is too soon to advise you.
- We are preparing for when we will resume production, considering new ways of working such as the need to apply social distancing.
- All non-bargaining unit employees have or will be receiving updates from your directors.
- Discussions related to the core processing operation are ongoing, and employees will be contacted when a decision for next week is firm.
As of March 23 at 4 PM
- All non-bargaining unit employees are being contacted by their leaders today regarding a Volvo Group US decision that will affect them.
- Maryland Governor Hogan ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses starting at 5 pm today.
- We are exempt from this order because we are an essential/critical industry as defined by the federal government under the DHS CISA guidelines.
- Site plans shared as of March 20 are still in place.
As of March 20 at 4:30pm
- Powertrain Production is suspended
- Core Processing is suspended
- Fewer than 100 GTO Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) & Bargaining Unit (BU) employees will be working on essential activities
- Shop & Skilled Trades BU employees who are not working may apply for Maryland Unemployment benefits, and may click here for instructions
- GTO & IT NBU employees are directed to take Earned Time Off (ETO)
- GTO & IT summer interns have been released and may apply for unemployment, and the State of Maryland will then determine eligibility for benefits
- You must apply for benefits on Monday, March 23, 2020
- To file a claim online, go to www.mdunemployment.com
- GTT employees are scheduled to join a meeting at 5pm, today, for direction
- GTP employees are being updated by their leaders as the situation develops
- PA Avenue Gate is closed
- Select restrooms will be open in the areas in which people will be working to limit the amount of ongoing cleaning and disinfecting required
- The café is closed and all coffee-service is suspended
- Family First Medical Center & Pharmacy will be open during their regular business hours
As of March 19 at 1:30pm
Effective Monday, March 23, we will suspend core processing operations through Friday, March 27.
As of March 19 at 12:45pm
Beginning Monday, March 23, our cafe will be closed and all on-site coffee services will not be replenished while production is suspended.
As of March 19 at 8:30am
Although we have no reason to believe we have any cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the plant, we have decided to temporarily suspend production as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus in our communities. Effective Monday, March 23, we will suspend production through Friday, March 27. AMT assembly will suspend production at 3 PM today, and we will finish ongoing machining and project activities this week.
Moving forward, we will monitor the situation and communicate additional decisions on a weekly basis. During this suspension, we will be exploring new ways of working and possible approaches to production that would allow for increased social distancing in the facility. The health and safety of our employees and communities will be our primary concern as we work to make the most informed decisions we can during this uncertain time.
Our site will remain open, and you will be contacted by your leader to clarify how this decision affects you.
Please avoid sharing this and associated business decisions through social media. All media requests must be referred to John Mies, SVP Communications, VGNA.