ABB: Essentials at Stake

A reminder of the difficult decisions involved in the current workforce dilemma

ABB released additional information Thursday after an employee at its Rogersville, Tennessee facility tested positive for COVID-19. The company had initially notified workers of the situation last week. CEO Bjorn Rosengren had also laid out a summary of the company’s efforts to aid against the spread of the virus in his own statement March 27.

In statement released Tuesday, the ABB states its number one priority is the “health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities.” It is also following governmental guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The company is considered an essential business.

Read the full statement below:

Given recent developments of the coronavirus COVID-19, we wanted to provide some information on how ABB is responding to the situation to ensure the health and safety of our employees and continuity of supply and service to our customers.

The health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities remain our number one priority and we are working hard to make sure that we minimize risks related to the spread of COVID-19. ABB is constantly monitoring the pandemic and has embraced official guidance on social distancing, good hygiene and teleworking everywhere possible.

ABB also supports governmental efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. ABB follows White House, Department of Homeland Security, and Governor guidance and orders regarding essential and life-sustaining businesses. Pursuant to the White House’s “Coronavirus Guidance for America” of March 16, “if you work in a critical infrastructure industry as defined by the Department of Homeland Securityyou have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” In a March 19th letter, DHS reiterated the scope and sectors of the critical infrastructure industry, including the Critical Manufacturing Sector, which is defined as:

Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base.

ABB is a manufacturer of materials and products needed for the above sectors and therefore is squarely a Critical Manufacturer under the DHS definition. ABB is also a long-standing member of, and participant in, the Critical Manufacturing Sector Coordinating Council under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within DHS.

For these reasons, ABB intends to maintain its manufacturing operations to serve these critical industries. While states are implementing various business closures and restrictions, ABB is working with state and local officials to ensure that ABB’s critical manufacturing remains operational to service its critical infrastructure customers.

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