The PSA Group manufacturing plant at Mangualde, in Portugal’s Viseu district, which produces Peugeot, Citroën and Opel vehicles, mainly for export, is from Monday adding a second work shift, and on May 25 a third, so returning to full production.
“Keeping as priorities to protect its employees and preserve the sustainability of the company, the Mangualde Production Centre of the PSA Group has already planned the start of the second and third phases of the return to industrial activity, creating the conditions for the resumption of 100% working,” the company said in a statement issued on Friday.
The statement clarifies that “the second shift of work begins on Monday, May 18, and on May 25 the Citroën Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Opel Combo will already be produced by the three shifts of the plant.” It added that the decision “has already been communicated to the workers commission, employees and suppliers.”
After suspending activity on March 18 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the factory resumed work “gradually and safely” with a single shift on May 7, the company said, stressing that a “protocol of reinforced sanitary measures to protect the health of the employees” was implemented.
“After a successful first phase of more than a week’s work, and thanks to the involvement and commitment of the workers and their representatives, the production centre … is only a few days away from a complete re-establishment of its activity,” the statement reads.
It adds that the health protocol introduced is “the most complete in the history” of the plant, with more than 100 measures that will “provide a high level of protection for the workers”. Since May 7, the company adds, it is possible to state that “it is now fully tested in a scenario of normal activity”.
It cited the example of checks on the body temperature of employees as well as self-monitoring of symptoms, the provision of personal protective equipment and sanitary protection, as well as hygiene kits for employees, drivers and visitors.
The plan also foresees the “redefinition of activity and circulation flows, ground markings for maintaining safety distances, reinforcement of hygiene perimeters, training and essential health and hygiene advice and constitution of an isolation room”, according to the company.
The production centre also now has “sanitary surveillance patrols trained by the hierarchy and members of the workers’ committee who verify on the ground, several times in each shift, the proper application of the standards and the potential improvements of the device,” it stresses. “Taking into account the commercial context (easing of lockdown, dealers reopening and the commercial situation of each model) and the progressive normalisation of the supply of components, the application and respect of the protocol created the conditions to resume activity in a gradual and safe way.
By May 25, it added, all the centre’s 1,000 employees will be back at work.