On April 22, 2020 at 10:58am we received an email inquiry from WLTZ TV 38 the NBC TV affiliate in Columbus, Georgia. The email stated, “Anonymous TLC employees are making very serious claims about their work environment on Fort Benning.” On April 24, 2020 at 08:09am we provided the following email response to the inquiry.
Thank you for inquiring about the welfare of our employees.
We appreciate hearing your concerns and those of our employees as we strive to successfully navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The large majority of The Logistics Company’s (TLC) work is categorized as part of our Nation’s Critical Infrastructure Industry; therefore, we have a special responsibility to maintain our services. We are extremely appreciative of the efforts our employees put forth to ensure we continue to provide high-quality support to our U.S. Armed Forces. We have provided periodic internal company email updates, Frequently Asked Questions & Answers, and published information on our company’s website at http://www.tlc-inc.net/Latest-News/Details?id=58.
Specific to your concerns, we provide support to the Fort Benning Logistics Readiness Center, Sand Hill Transportation Motor Pool (SH TMP) through the Army Sustainment Command’s Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise contract vehicle. In partnership with our Health, Environmental & Safety (HES) team, our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic began on March 4th when multiple COVID-19 related handout information products were produced and distributed to our employees. These handouts included Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community mitigation guidance, recommended protection and prevention training. The HES team, along with our SH TMP Supervisors, inspected all hand washing stations and identified Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for the work center and workforce.
We have implemented daily COVID-19 employee medical screenings for 100% of individuals prior to entering our facilities. This preventive measure was implemented to minimize the spread of illness and provide some level of assurance to our workforce that their colleagues do not have one of the identifiable symptoms of this pandemic. Anyone who demonstrates symptoms is asked to return to their home to self-monitor for 24 hours and/or begin the 7-day seclusion or 14-day quarantine periods in accordance with the established Fort Benning COVID-19 protocol. We acknowledge that there has been an individual(s) in the organization who has tested positive for COVID-19. Our employees have expressed concern for the colleague(s) as well as concern over a potential exposure risk to themselves or others. We have followed CDC recommended guidance and the more robust Fort Benning COVID-19 protocols prior to any employee returning to the workplace. As a precautionary measure, we have chosen to test the entire workforce.
Our policy is to clean our buses after each run, but implemented deep cleaning procedures in mid-March to thoroughly sanitize each bus. Specifically, in accordance with Fort Benning directives our buses and 80-passenger carriers are washed and sanitized using a one-gallon sprayer filled with bleach water depending on the frequency of use. In between runs the buses are wiped down, the process is repeated at the end of their run, and we perform a complete sanitation of the bus or 80-passenger carrier. Additionally, to ensure well-being of passengers we limit capacity to 50% and comply with PPE requirements in accordance with Fort Benning directives. All of our employees have been issued appropriate PPE.
The large majority of our SH TMP employees are covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement and are union members. We have permitted employees to use liberal leave which includes: Vacation, Sick Time or Leave Without Pay (LWOP). All leave request have been approved. Our leadership has not threatened or communicated to any employee that they will be terminated if they feel unsafe coming to work. We have encouraged employees with known medical issues to feel free to use liberal leave or they may be eligible for unpaid, job-protected leave for their specified family and medical reason in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Once the COVID-19 pandemic situation improves they will be welcomed back to our team without question.
We are grateful for your concern and hope these responses provide you better insight into our work environment. Please continue to share any questions, concerns, or updates with us.