Update Thursday, March 26
Reminder, employees with specific questions about work situations, please contact your supervisor, HR at your facility and/or your facility leaders. They are in the best position to have specific, updated information for you.
This morning, we sent an email to all GP employees with temporary changes to our pay practices. Additional questions and answers are below.
What are you doing to help your employees during the COVID-19 crisis?
We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, waived costs for some wellbeing benefits, and continue to share information and resources to help employees manage this uncertain time. We continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning practices and are limiting visitors at our operations.
Are employees eligible for hazard pay?
We are not offering hazard pay at this time. We’d recommend speaking with your direct supervisor or the HR rep at your facility to figure out the best plan of action for your situation. We have announced temporary changes to some of our pay practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including paid leave during 14 consecutive days for eligible employees for days they were scheduled but unable to work due to this pandemic and we are offering 5 days of intermittent paid time off if you are forced to miss work to care for your children due to school closures because of COVID-19. These changes are being made to emphasize the importance we place on the safety and wellbeing of our employees, their families and our communities. We hope these changes will help reduce the threat of spread of illness in our workplaces and communities.
Update Tuesday, March 24
Reminder, employees with questions about work situations, please contact your supervisor, HR at your facility and/or your facility leaders. They are in the best position to have specific, updated information for you.
How are you helping those in need?
GP has a long-standing relationship with disaster relief agency Convoy of Hope and prior to this spike in demand, they’d received multiple shipments of our products to use in their response to natural disasters/crises. In many cases, we contribute products locally to non-profit organizations and we continue to work to help those organizations meet their needs.
While Convoy of Hope is not a medical response organization, they often assist in situations where the health and well-being of others is in jeopardy and they’ve committed to provide emergency food, water and supplies like toilet paper and paper towels from Georgia-Pacific to those hit especially hard by COVID-19 here in the United States. Convoy of Hope is uniquely set-up to provide immediate assistance to others and our ongoing work with them will ensure that our donated products are distributed correctly and get into the hands of those most impacted.
Our Georgia-Pacific Foundation continues to work with hundreds of organizations who provide services to communities and people in need at the national, regional, state and local levels. From donating leftover masks and hand sanitizer to local hospitals to providing plates and napkins to first responders, we continue to support the needs of others in cash and product donations.
Our CEO, Christian Fischer, sent a video to employee yesterday. You can watch that message here.
Angel Soft and Quilted Northern Spots:
You may see our Angel Soft and Quilted Northern brands posted new TV spots yesterday (both brands were locked into ad buys before COVID-19 so they chose to use their spots to help spread the word that TP is still being made and shipped).
Update Friday, March 20
Over the last few days, we’ve heard from employees, customers and consumers. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. Thanks for your loyalty and we appreciate your support.
Where are Angel Soft and Quilted Northern made?
Both Angel Soft and Quilted Northern are manufactured in North America, primarily the United States.
How much TP do people need?
Based on IRI panel data, along with the US Census, the average U.S. household (2.6 people) uses 409 equivalized regular rolls per year. Using our own calculations, staying at home 24-7 would result in 40% increase vs. average daily usage. Therefore, to last approximately 2 weeks, a 2-person household would need 9 double rolls, or 5 mega rolls. A 4-person household would need 17 double rolls, or 9 mega rolls to last approximately 2 weeks.
When will store shelves be restocked?
While the timing is uncertain due to many variables in the supply chain process, our primary focus is to do all we can to meet consumer demand. We’re quickly responding by expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period. Our tissue manufacturing facilities are operating 24/7 and our employees are doing all they can to serve our customers and meet consumers’ needs during this situation.
Can I order TP directly from Angel Soft and Quilted Northern?
While we do have an online store, our direct-to-consumer sites are experiencing similar demand that we see at retail stores. For the time being, we have decided to prioritize our retail partners (both in-store and online), as this is the fastest way to get rolls into consumer’s hands.
I’m an employee and I have a question about work?
Georgia-Pacific employees are asked to please contact their supervisor first and then their local HR contact. If employees do not have or do not know their local HR contact, please reach out directly to facility leadership. Supervisors, HR and local facility leaders will have information specific to each location and may be in the best position to respond quickly.
What should I do if my city/state has a shelter in place order and I’m a GP employee, am I essential?
The health and safety, of all our employees is our top priority. Across many states, we have seen local and state governments issue shelter in place orders that have affected our facilities by designating them as essential or non-essential businesses (or some other language) based on what the site manufactures. We believe many of our manufacturing facilities make products that our country needs, and we will continue operating. In some cases where deemed non-essential, we have suspended operations. If a particular facility is deemed to be essential and continues operating, we ask our employees to continue working per normal guidelines. Our commitment, as always, is to comply with all laws and regulations.
As a company, we are responding to this in real-time and we will continue to react and adapt to updates and share knowledge as we receive it. If such decisions are made in the states where we operate, we will work as quickly as possible to notify employees. We encourage you to raise any questions directly to your supervisor or local HR.
Update March 16, 2020
This morning, CEO Christian Fischer sent a communication to all GP employees. Below are highlights from that communication.
- The safety of our employees is first.
- Employees in Atlanta have been asked to work remotely whenever possible.
- We are limiting access at our manufacturing operations to essential employees, contractors and vendors in order to protect operators. Local site leaders are determining who needs to be onsite, and they are making sure any essential visitors practice a variety of COVID-19 preventive measures.
- Employees with any questions should continue to work with their supervisor or contact HR at their location.
Beginning March 16, we recommend all domestic and international travel- includes travel by air, land and water- be reconsidered until further notice (unless it is considered business critical, in which case you should obtain appropriate management approval as determined by each Koch company). It is the responsibility of each employee to ensure they are aware of travel policy and approval requirements in their Koch company with respect to COVID-19.
Over the weekend, GP assisted the media with information on our supply chain and how we continue to make products people need. Please feel free to share the media coverage below with your family, friends and communities.
TP Supply: bringmethenews.com
Today Show:: Twitter.com
Alabama Business: al.com
Palatka Daily News: palatkadailynews.com
Yahoo News: yahoo.com
Fox 5 Atlanta News: fox5atlanta.com
Fox 30 Jacksonville News: actionnewsjax.com
WTOC 11 Savannah: wtoc.com
Updated March 13, 2020
About our Employees and Customers
Georgia-Pacific values the health and safety of our employees, customers and consumers. In light of the ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are taking the steps necessary to ensure that we are doing our part to prevent the spread of this virus in our workplaces and to help our customers maintain their businesses in a normal manner.
Most all of Georgia-Pacific’s products are made in North America, primarily in the United States, so at this point, our facilities and offices are operating normally with no impacts from employees being infected.
Bath Tissue/Paper Towels Demand
In our consumer products business, given the current situation, and just cold and flu season in general, we anticipate more handwashing – especially given how everyone is focused on and talking about good hand hygiene and preventing the spread of germs.
We do expect some “away from home” activity to decline as business travel and vacation plans change, along with companies encouraging employees to work from home when it makes sense. For our retail business, we have seen a significant increase in orders beginning last week. These increases have been as high as two times our normal demand.
Our manufacturing operations which produce toilet paper (for both consumer and B2B) are currently operating normally and we are doing our best to meet consumer demand. We’re doing this through our use of existing inventory, increasing our production, and using a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period.
Inventory levels across our system remain healthy and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast. Last week our mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out ~120% of normal capacity. We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time. We currently don’t have any issues with carrier capacity (trucks and trailers) to ship.
See how we discussed this issue with forbes.com.
Limiting Access to our Facilities
Our manufacturing locations are implementing updated procedures to manage requests from outside visitors and vendors to do all that they can to prevent the virus at those locations.
Our corporate and local pandemic response teams have been working to update and implement their plans and strategies for business continuity. We are continuing to monitor new developments in this pandemic and will continue to evolve our strategies to respond. Updates will be posted as they become available.
We appreciate our valued relationships with our employees, customers, communities and consumers.