In a significant move aimed at social distancing and protecting the workforce from a global pandemic of COVID 19, India’s leading cement manufacturer Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd has suspended cement production across all its plant locations in the country. Dalmia Bharat operates across nine states and 12 manufacturing units with a combined annual capacity of 26.5 million tonnes.
Commenting on the decision, Mr Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, with its People First motto, Dalmia Cement is acutely aware of the current grave situation due to breakout of COVID-19. In line with the continuous appeal for social distancing by Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Chief Ministers of states where we have our operations, we decided to suspend production across all our plants. The plants will remain closed until further notice. During this hour of crisis, all employees and communities living around our plant locations will be provided with any support that they may need to handle the situation caused by Coronavirus.”
“We are continuously monitoring the situation and the immediate task is to ensure that the chain of transmission of COVID 19 breaks. We will decide to restart production once the lockdown is over, basis the directions of the state and central governments,” he added.
While cement production is continuous in nature and the plants have requisite permission from both the state and the central governments to operate with minimum employees during the lockdown, Dalmia Cement will only carry out mandatory activities required for safety and security of the plants in the larger interest of employees, workers, their families, local community and above all the nation.
Besides the crucial decision to suspend cement production, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) has taken a series of employee-friendly measures for their physical and mental wellbeing. These include
- Launched a centralized 24X7 support and helpline system for its employees across India. Any employee in distress can directly reach out to the central team on designated contact and WhatsApp numbers and e-mail id and seek support. In case any employee feels that he or she have COVID symptoms, a team of doctors will immediately provide assistance and support to the concerned person. We have also made sure that our regional offices and plants have enough masks, sanitizers, groceries and milk for the employees. All the bachelor employees at plant location have been moved to the guest houses.
- Decided to advance salaries. While salaries are credited at the end of the month, the March salary will be deposited by March 28 to boost employee morale.
- Not deferring joining of new employees. Instead, all the joining formalities of as many as 70 new people including induction is happening online. The company is also taking summer interns and re-modelling the projects for them so that they can pursue the same online. For the contractual workers, the company is giving bi-monthly payments so they don’t have to wait till month end to buy essential commodities.
- Paying adequate attention to the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees by conducting online Bhagavad Gita discourse to ensure they stay positive and calm. Going forward, it will be practiced every day.