SCRIBA – A major Oswego County employer shut itself down today to 25% of its 1,150-person workforce in accordance with NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent executive order.
According to Novelis Oswego’s Communication Leader, Leila Giancone, the aluminum manufacturer made the decision this morning “as a result of the temporary shutdown by our U.S. automaker customers.
“We are adhering to the information from the executive order to be running at 25%,” she said. “So, we have 25% onsite, while other members of our workforce are working remotely or working from home.
“We have staggered shifts as well. So, they won’t all be at the plant at the same time. We have a nearly two million square foot plant, so we are able to exercise extreme caution and practice social distancing and maintain the safe distance between individuals as the CDC has recommended.”
According to Giancone, all salaried and hourly workers will continue to be paid.
Novelis, a major supplier of Ford F-150 body panels, will instead now focus on the production of aluminum for beverage cans and specialty markets, Giancone said.
A number of industries have been dubbed “essential” and are thereby exempt from some aspects of the governor’s executive orders. Giancone said Novelis is still determining their status.
“We are navigating through that right now,” she said. “We hope to get some clarity on that as we look at details of the executive order through the updated lens. We are continuing evaluating at this time and hope to communicate an update shortly.
“As the executive orders are evolving, we’re evolving with them. We will adhere to those as they come.“
Novelis maintains a full-time, onsite primary care staff. Giancone reported there have been no known cases of coronavirus at the Oswego plant.
“The most important thing for me to communicate to our people, our community, our customers, is that every decision we’re making, every measure we take, is proactive in supporting the best interests of our people, our customers and our community first and foremost, Giancone said. “We really pride ourselves on a culture of caring at Novelis. This is definitely uncharted territory, but we are working through it day by day.
“We are navigating these uncertain times through the guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the WHO (World Health Organization), and, of course, our esteemed public officials. We are learning as we go.”