May 21, 2020
To all of our Pollard Team,
As your Supervisors will have made you aware, we are working with skeleton staff starting tomorrow until the end of next week. In our pursuit of Lean manufacturing, we continue to make adjustments and improvements to our manufacturing process. Obviously with COVID-19, we are currently experiencing a much lower level of sales, which gives us an opportunity to reorganize the layout of our plant to be more efficient.
We are making these changes to:
- Prevent worker injuries
- Work smart
- Eliminate waste
- Make us more competitive in the market
We fully expect to be very busy again, hopefully by mid-summer. Last year, we incurred significant costs for overtime, missing parts and back orders requiring second deliveries, which eats into our profit sharing. With streamlining of our lines we can eliminate a lot of these issues.
We are trying to do whatever it takes to complete this move in the shortest period of time. Please confirm your schedule with your supervisor.
We all need to work together and we will come out of this COVID-19 crisis even stronger!
Thank you for your help and cooperation,
May 12, 2020
As part of our COVID monitoring and a sincere concern for your well-being, we will be taking further precautions in our workplace. Your safety against the spread of the virus continues to be of outmost priority.
We have been very fortunate to secure several Infrared Thermometers. Starting tomorrow, we will be conducting mandatory testing on all staff. Note, that this is a digital, no touch test and is non-invasive. Please review the complete details using this link.
Thanks to everyone for your cooperation in helping protect us all. We will get through this together!
May 6, 2020
We’re monitoring the COVID situation daily and as a company we have been impacted significantly. Almost one-third of our workforce is currently laid-off, this includes office and plant employees.
With this in mind and our current sales volume, we are unable to provide a discretionary wage increase at this time. Unfortunately, no one is able to predict how the rest of the year will play out. Although we are hopeful this will not be the case, there are suggestions that we may have a resurgence of this virus in the Fall which could play havoc with our economy and our sales again.
We are hoping to have increased business once some restrictions are removed which will allow us to welcome back many of our valued employees who are currently at home. We appreciate your understanding with this situation as we need to be cognizant of the needs of ALL of our Pollard family of employees.
Some good news, last year we did have a profitable year and although our cash flows are limited, we will be distributing profit sharing in June as usual, to eligible employees both here and temporarily laid-off. We will not host a profit sharing meeting because of the need for social distancing. However, we will have our annual GUESS THE POINT COUNT Contest and will announce the winner over the intercom system.
Thanks to all of you for being team players and showing consideration for all employees.
May 1, 2020
It’s looking like we are going to have a nice weekend and I would like to remind everyone to continue to practice social distancing. We’ve received some positive news this week from the Premier and we will continue to monitor the situation to keep you informed on our recovery plan. We are hoping to get everyone back soon.
Please stay safe and stay healthy and enjoy the nice weather.
April 27, 2020
We have had some positive news lately regarding the COVID measures adopted at the end of last month. We are seeing flattening of the number of new cases here in Ontario and there are ongoing discussions regarding a staged process of relaxing the current safety measures.
Ontario must see a “consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases” before the government can start to loosen restrictions and begin reopening the economy, says a new framework released by the province.
The province will reopen its economy through a three-stage process in the coming weeks and months, a government document unveiled this afternoon says, though it offers no firm date and few details about when that effort will begin.
“The framework is about how we’re reopening not when we’re reopening,” said Premier Doug Ford at a news conference, adding that while Ontario is believed to be at its peak in terms of the outbreak, how long that peak lasts remains a question.
“If precautions are not taken, one person infected with this virus can spread it to hundreds of others.”
“Progress doesn’t mean we can quit now and that’s why I won’t set hard dates until we’re ready, because the virus travels at its own speed.”
Lets stay the course and do what we can to prepare for when the economy opens again.
On another note, some of you may have noticed our flags at half-mast last week to mourn those lost their lives in the terrible mass shooting in Nova Scotia.
Typically, we have reserved this practise for the Pollard family and specific circumstances determined by our family. We want to kindly thank those employees who were concerned about us. We are all okay and are grateful for your best wishes.
To those of you who are currently off, we have not forgotten you. We are working hard to do things efficiently so that we come out of this stronger. We hope to bring more staff back as soon as possible.
April 14, 2020
I hope you are all doing well and had a good Easter. Although sales have declined, we are lucky to be classified as an essential service and are able to still work. We are confident this will not last forever and with some of the difficult decisions we have had to make now, will pay off in the long run. We are glad those who have had to be laid off temporarily are able to access funds through the government. We are working hard to use this time effectively to put us in a good place in the future to benefit all of us. There are a couple of things we want to clarify for you regarding layoffs:
Layoffs & Service Canada
It has been brought to our attention that some of you were unsure of whether or not you were given a notice of layoff. For future reference, please understand that unless you personally receive a notice of layoff from HR or your supervisor directly, you are still considered an active employee of Pollard Windows and we expect you to report to work. You will not receive notification by any other means, not on this general website or by email.
If you have mistakenly applied for E.I. or CERB benefits and are still working, you will need to cancel your claim immediately and return any benefits paid back to Service Canada as soon as possible. Contact Service Canada to make these arrangements at: 1-800-206-7218 (E.I) / 1-800-959-8281 (CERB).
We know this is a difficult time for everyone and we wanted to identify some services available to hopefully make it easier for you and your families:
2-1-1 Ontario Programs and Services – Find support during COVID-19
We are constantly thinking about all of our employees and their families’ well being. We’d like to provide information and a help line for any of you or your family members that may be struggling with some concerns during this uncertain time. This line is free of charge and helps put you in touch with the right resources for any concerns you may have. This includes items specific to COVID-19, as well as many other topics of concern.
211 Ontario is a primary source of information on government and community-based social services. The team at 211 Ontario is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to Ontarians about responses to the novel coronavirus.
Programs and services to help you through this pandemic:
• Do you feel overwhelmed or anxious about COVID-19? Do you want information on mental health services to manage those feelings?
• Are you experiencing financial pressure because of self-isolation measures?
• Do you have questions about applying for Employment Insurance?
• Do you need help getting groceries or running errands while you are at home sick or self-isolating?
• Additional help topics include: Abuse/Assault counselling, Disabilities, Emergency/Crisis counselling, Family Services, Food Resources, Government/Legal Aid, Health Care, Housing, Income Support, Mental Health & Addictions, LGBTQ+, Older Adult/Youth Counselling and many more.
Live Chat is available Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm. Try the Search Help Tool on their website at 211ontario.ca. Community Navigators are ready to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 150 languages. Just dial 2-1-1.
April 3, 2020
We can’t predict what will happen each day as this COVID-19 nightmare unfolds.
Today Premier Ford has decided to further scale back which businesses can remain open and are considered essential. We had heard rumours that they might completely shut down residential construction but fortunately that was not the case. He did however, place further restrictions on the residential market. Residential builders cannot start any new sites or homes that do not have a current footing permit. With it being the beginning of the building season, it will mean an even larger reduction than we had been anticipating. This has forced us to make cuts today in our offices and we will also have to re-evaluate our staffing levels within the plant early next week.
What are we doing:
We are reaching out to our customers to see what volume we can expect from them. We have contacted the Federal government to see if we can do some manufacturing that they require. We applied for our Work-Sharing application last week. We are evaluating every option to see what we can do to either keep you working or call you back to work as soon as possible. If we can get approved for Work-Sharing, we will do our very best to bring as many of you in under that program that we can afford.
People currently advised of Temporary Layoff:
You may wish to get a head start on your E.I. application. Please follow this link below:
Note that the HR and Payroll department will follow up in an email with the documentation you will need in order to complete your application early next week, as well as your Records of Employment mid to late next week as soon as the reports become available which will be submitted on your behalf to Service Canada.
Please read the article in this link which outlines the news from today:
You have all been doing a great job following our safety protocols to keep us all healthy and safe, please keep it up. Even if you are off now please continue to keep close to home and stay healthy so when we have an opportunity to bring you back, you will be healthy to do so. This whole situation is very hard on all of us and we need to stick together.
Keep looking at this part of our website for more info and take this time to cherish your families.
We will get through this!
March 31, 2020
I’d like to take a moment to thank all you for continuing to be so cooperative during the challenging circumstances we are currently under. I appreciate your willingness to participate in the Work Share Program which many of you have registered. We have submitted our application and are waiting on approval. Your support will help us achieve our goals in our recovery plan. We are looking at all options in order to remain operational during this time. Be assured, your safety continues to be most important to us and we urge you to continue to practice all the necessary precautions set in place a few weeks ago.
A while back I made you aware of a Losani site which had an employee that was being tested for COVID-19, we found out late yesterday that they tested positive. I immediately contacted the person who had been near this site and had visited shipping a couple days after. They had self isolated just in case. They have had no symptoms at all and it will be two weeks tomorrow since the possible exposure.
I have spoken to Public Health and explained the situation and they indicated they do not deem the interactions with the staff member to be close contact. They deem close contact to be spending hours together, or providing care/living with someone or sharing meals etc.
Losani has already reached out separately to those trades who may have been in contact with them. If you wish to call Pubic Health for a recommendation please do so. However, they indicated that if there are no signs of any symptoms, testing is not required. I would ask that you monitor your health and immediately call if you begin to show symptoms.
We will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available.
Thanks again for being a great group!
March 25, 2020
Well, it has been a roller coaster couple weeks. No one could see this COVID-19 virus interfering with our economy to this extent or threatening our families. For me this is the biggest challenge I have faced since taking over for my brother Mike almost 7 years ago. What I wouldn’t give to have him here to discuss our plans.
The well-being of our loyal employees and customers remain our main priority. It is clear this outbreak is negatively impacting our economy and the market. We are having to make some very tough decisions. We continue to try to add more safety measures to our workplace as supplies become available and we are diligently promoting social distancing. It is clear that some changes to our workforce will have to be made for us to weather this storm. Our team has been working around the clock trying to evaluate every option we have to keep our cash flow positive and as many employed as possible.
Some of you have expressed that because of extenuating circumstances you may feel staying home might be a better option for you. Please let your supervisor know this by tomorrow so that we can take this into consideration in our recovery plan. To be able to manufacture and process paperwork there are several positions that must be filled in order to run smoothly but we will consider all requests.
Thank you for your dedication and hard work, we all hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.
March 24, 2020
Thank you to those who came into today and also to those who are doing their part by self isolating. This situation continues to evolve and we will keep posting info to keep you informed. Some new sanitizer stations were installed and tomorrow we will be adding anti-bacterial soap to your soap dispensers as our order has arrived. As mentioned before we were informed that we can operate and employ you because were are part of the supply chain for Construction which is considered an essential service. Please see below the letter we received form the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
See you tomorrow,
March 23, 2020 5:40 pm
Today, we have watched both the Prime Minister Trudeau’s and Premier Ford’s messages for the update on COVID-19.
In particular, Premier Ford has increased restrictions on what businesses can be operating. Ford specified manufacturing businesses are considered essential. This means we can and should continue to do business.
We are thankful for this as our customers have been contacting us to be sure they can get our products and services. Tomorrow we will be working in the offices and the plant.
We should note the efforts of the Canadian government to help small businesses with COVID-19 relief DOES NOT apply to Pollard Windows. The definition of a small business is a company of 100 employees or less that has an annual income of $500,000 or less. However, we are considered an essential manufacturer and supply chain provider to the construction industry. Therefore, we need to continue working to pay our bills.
We will continue to operate with the same precautionary safety measures set in place early last week. We will maintain our new cleaning protocols to protect all of you. Also, as supplies become available we are adding more sanitizer stations. We will continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. We have limited outside visitors to those that are essential and they are instructed to call for appointments so that we can pre-screen them before they enter our buildings.
We have asked that Service and Shipping staff to launder their uniforms until further notice to minimize contact from outside.
Today, our PM stated there is no tolerance for those ignoring orders to socially distance from others in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. We urge you during after work hours that you continue to limit the exposure to others and do not in any circumstance partake in group gatherings.
Stay safe and healthy for your family here and at home. See you tomorrow.
March 21, 2020 8:40 pm
To all of our Pollard employees:
Late today I received a phone call and the following communication from Losani Homes:
Please be advised that a Losani Homes employee has been in contact us to report that they have gone to be tested for COVID-19 Friday evening. The results of which are not yet available.
We cannot legally disclose the name of the individual however can communicate that they are a employed onsite at Vista Ridge and have not been to our other site locations. The employee exhibited some but not all symptoms of COVID-19 and they have confirmed with us they did not travel or knowingly come into contact with anyone who travelled.
Under these circumstances we are obliged to inform everyone of this incident and ask that you take immediately discuss next steps with your organization or as per Health Canada’s recommendations. Please refer to the following link for information: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Losani Homes will be making decisions related to on continuing on site operations albeit on a very restricted basis as the weekend continues to be able to meet out homeowner obligations in the immediate short term.
Once I had this information I identified that someone who had been on that site earlier in the week had come into our plant both Thursday and Friday. They had come into the shipping area and the offices nearby. I have spoke to the individual and they have assured me they have no symptoms. I have asked them to contact me immediately if they start to feel unwell. I have also asked Losani to inform me as soon as they have the results of their employees test. As a precaution we will disinfect surfaces that could possibly be affected in those areas on Monday.
I told Losani we cannot come to that site if there is anyone there that could have been exposed. Losani has assured me that none of their staff that was working with the symptomatic employee will continue to be on site until everything has been cleared.
As soon as I get anymore information I will post an update.
March 20, 2020
I’m glad you were able to get home a little early. I’m hoping you are snuggled up at home like I am with my family. The cases in Canada continue to rise and with many travellers returning it’s more important than ever to stay home. Please avoid going out and remember to practice social distancing. To protect all of your fellow employees and families do not pick up anyone from the airport or visit someone who just returned home. If you become exposed to a recent traveller, please self quarantine for 14 days from when you were near that person before returning to work. We all need to do our part to keep the vulnerable safe and stop the growth of COVID-19 cases.
Keep looking for more posts on this link as new info becomes available.
Thank you for your efforts to keep us going during this difficult time.
March 18, 2020
We hope that everyone is coping well in spite of the overwhelming news on COVID-19 coming from all media outlets. As we deal with developing news, I have full confidence in the precautionary measures taken by our Canadian government and we should be thankful for their actions thus far.
We are trying to do our part by being proactive to stay ahead of the situation. We have taken some of our own safeguards to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Today, we handed out masks to each employee as an added preventative measure. These were very difficult to obtain and hope you use them wisely as it will be difficult to find more stock. We advise you bring a plastic bag from home to store it when it’s not in use to keep it clean. Some have asked if they have to wear it all of the time, we would appreciate it if you wear it when in close proximity to a co-worker. Let’s keep exercising good social distancing by staying 6 feet away from each other whenever possible and then the masks could be pulled down so its more comfortable.
It’s not all bad news out there, here’s some good news:
(1) Vaccine development: An experimental vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. began the first stage of a clinical trial on Monday, with testing on 45 healthy adults in Seattle.
(2) China’s new cases plummet: China has now closed down its last temporary hospital built to handle COVID-19. Not enough new cases to warrant them.
(3) Drugs that work: Doctors in India have successfully treated two Italian patients with COVID-19, administering a combination of drugs — principally Lopinavir and Ritonavir, alongside Oseltamivir and Chloroquine. Several are now suggesting the same medical treatment, on a case-by-case basis, globally.
We’re monitoring the situation throughout each day and evaluating next steps in a timely fashion. Let’s all work together to come out of this situation even stronger!
March 15, 2020
To all of our family of Pollard Employees,
With growing concerns around COVID-19 virus, I wanted to provide you with easy access to information regarding our response to the latest precautionary measures made by Public Health Agency of Canada. The health, safety and well-being of our employees is Pollard’s top priority at this important time.
We have put in place measures for extra cleaning of highly utilized surfaces and high traffic areas. Public health officials strongly advise that washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds is the best way to protect yourself and others. Remember to wash your hands often when sharing your workstation. And, always properly wash your hands before eating at breaks and lunch time.
We suggest you avoid going to events that have large groups of people and we highly suggest you avoid any travel at this time. If you or an immediate family member has traveled internationally in the last 14 days, please do not come in and call your supervisor. We are asking you to self-quarantine for 14 days from arriving in Canada.
If you’re feeling unwell, follow the proper safety measures and call your Supervisor. Please call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 and take their advice.
We are planning to make some work schedule changes to implement staggered break periods and lunch times. Social distancing measures will be taking place to minimize close contact with others, we’ll have more information on Monday.
Please look for updates on this page and on your bulletin boards. Let’s all work together to keep our family here, and at home, safe.
Thank you, your cooperation is greatly appreciated.