Here at Gills Onions, the health and safety of our employees is our top priority. We are an equal opportunity employer with a diverse workforce and try our best to always put our employees first. As our safety coordinator, Frank Garcia, puts it, “Safety first, safety always.”
We have a dedicated health and safety team of fifteen employees working their very hardest to ensure the well-being of our farm workers and plant employees, especially during these turbulent times. Our staff works to stay within compliance at all times, making our social responsibility program a reliable resource for employees.
Our Response to COVID-19
Since the onslaught of COVID-19, Gills Onions has made adjustments just like the rest of the world. Each day, plant employees and farm workers must have their temperature taken and dress in required personal protective equipment (PPE). We provide complimentary masks, latex gloves, and hand sanitizer so employees have no reason to be without these essential supplies.
In an effort to increase social distancing, we have also modified break times and meal times, installed additional benches, and provided extra training. In the fields, dividers keep farm workers at a safe distance, and we have made sure that all the water we provide them is in individual handheld containers to eliminate cross-contamination.
According to county guidelines, if anyone becomes sick or begins showing symptoms of COVID-19, they must report to their supervisors immediately in order to decrease the risk of spreading the disease. Employees are able to get treatment and testing for COVID without any risk of losing employment, and we provide up to 80 hours of compensation for COVID-related absences. This includes dealing with childcare issues, hospital visits, and caring for friends and family members struggling with the disease. We cherish our employees and truly want the best for them and their loved ones.
Going the Extra Mile for Employee Wellness
Aside from COVID-19 protocols, we provide health and wellness benefits to employees on a regular basis. During a typical year, we provide on-site annual checkups and bring in qualified technicians to administer flu shots. Due to COVID-19, this year employees are encouraged to visit clinics individually for these services. And for those enrolled in our benefits, telemedicine is available as well.
We also offer a wonderful Mom-to-Be program through Western Growers. Applicants who register in this program within 16 weeks of pregnancy receive a $500 gift card to Target and a complimentary car seat for their future child.
A Continuing Commitment to Safety
As we move forward, we hope to continue improving our workplace environment in order to keep employees safe and healthy. One change to look forward to in the near future is the implementation of new machinery that will further improve social distancing.
As always, we will continue to notify our teams of updates to policy and ensure that everyone is following procedure and is aware of best practices. We pride ourselves in being thorough—especially when training our employees—and are optimistic about the future.
To everyone struggling in these unprecedented times, we want you to feel confident in Gills Onions. We are doing everything we can to take care of our employees, so that we can continue to provide the best value-add onion products in the nation.
Ready to try onions the Gills Way? For more information, contact our sales department.