Linebarger praises employee response to pandemic on news program
Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger praised Cummins employees around the world for meeting the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic during an appearance on a business news program in the company’s headquarters state of Indiana.
“It won’t surprise you that our employees have stepped up in every respect,” Linebarger told host Gerry Dick of the program Inside Indiana Business, which ran on various television stations in the state over the weekend.
Linebarger cited employees across the company who are helping to power key institutions like hospitals and grocery stores as well as the food distribution network. He also praised Cummins’ employees working in company plants for changing the way they work to maintain social distancing and other steps to maintain a safe work environment.
He also credited employees working to see if the company can help address the crisis in new and creative ways, such as the partnership between Cummins and Dupont announced earlier this month to use filtration media to produce the N95 respirator masks critical to protect healthcare professionals from the virus. Finally, Linebarger said employees are stepping up to address the COVID-19 crisis in their own communities, by supporting agencies and initiatives addressing health care, child care, poverty, education and more.
It’s hard to overstate the significant impact Cummins products are playing around the world right now. The company helped power the construction equipment that played a key role in China’s response and recovery. Generators are helping to power hospitals popping up in Europe to address the peak of the coronavirus. Company technicians are working to keep generators in service at existing hospitals around the world including in New York City. And Cummins engines are powering many of the trucks restocking grocery stories with food and transporting medicine and medical equipment in nearly every part of the world.
‘’This is an incredibly severe crisis, as you stated,” Linebarger told the program host. “The healthcare crisis is overwhelming, and for a lot of our healthcare workers on the front lines this is just an overwhelming challenge. And I think economically, it’s a big challenge and companies like ours are trying to figure out ways to protect the health of our employees and our communities and still find ways to make sure we’re a sustainable enterprise because the economy and our communities will need us as the health crisis begins to wane.”
He said steps such as suspending production and reductions in pay are terribly difficult, especially at a company with a proud history like Cummins’. But he said he believes they are unfortunately necessary to maintain the health of the company, so it can be ready when the crisis is over, and communities are ready to get back to work.