WEST CHICAGO, IL., APRIL 13, 2020 — The Jel Sert Company has announced plans to reopen its West Chicago manufacturing facility on April 13th. The company suspended manufacturing on April 3rd, due to the continued community-wide spread of COVID-19 in DuPage County and the self-quarantining of some of the Jel Sert staff.
As a manufacturer of food and beverage products, Jel Sert has been deemed an essential business under the guidelines of the Federal government and the State of Illinois. Their plans to resume operations are due to demand, as the company manufactures consumer products, medical foods, and Defense Department contracted items.
Manufacturing operations will resume in accordance with the latest safety protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the DuPage County Health Department. The company has worked closely with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 since the beginning of the community-wide spread of COVID-19 in DuPage County, to conduct an extensive review of new and emerging issues that could affect its employees/their members. Together, the two organizations have outlined and implemented a plan to address worker safety while the factory is operational.
“Throughout this process, our shared goal has been to keep members, their families, and the public as safe and healthy as possible,” said SEIU, Local 1 president Tom Balanoff. “Jel Sert will continue to take the appropriate steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and together, we will continue to protect the working people who keep the plant running and will remain in constant contact to assess the situation as the plant reopens.”
“Our top priority is worker safety. Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we worked side-by-side with the SEIU, Local 1, as we determined what new procedures and protocols should be put in place to keep all of our workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ken Wegner, President of The Jel Sert Company. “As we take the additional actions required to combat the spread of COVID-19, such as increasing measures to ensure physical distancing, establishing new safety protocols, and conducting weekly virucidal disinfection of the manufacturing and common areas, we will continue seeking input from the SEIU, Local 1. We will also continue to make all information about our safety measures public.”
During the factory closure, Jel Sert’s distribution center and logistics teams continued to fill orders with the existing supply of products, to meet customer demand. As the factory resumes production, it will slowly scale up its manufacturing operation. The company will monitor the coronavirus situation daily and adjust safety measures and procedures as necessary to ensure the health of its employees, while also addressing the needs of its customers.
For more information on all of the steps Jel Sert is taking to actively combat the spread of COVID-19 in DuPage County, please visit https://jelsert.com/news/.