Updated: March 27, 2020 10:50 PM
Created: March 27, 2020 05:49 PM
Cambria is just one of hundreds of Minnesota companies wrestling with how to deal with employees who will be sent home because of the governor's "stay at home" order that takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
"If he directs us to shut down our factory and deems it to be non-essential, we will," Cambria CEO Marty Davis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS just hours before Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz issued the stay at home order on Thursday. The order mostly shuts down Cambria's massive manufacturing plant in Le Sueur and corporate headquarters in Eden Prairie.
Although it's a big blow to his company and employees, Davis gives Walz high marks for handling the crisis.
"He's been very gracious in communicating with the business community," Davis said. "He's done a tremendous job, I think. He's been very deliberate and very discerning. He's in a very difficult position."
The governor's decision also put Davis and Cambria in a difficult position. After initially considering furloughs or layoffs, he decided against either option. Instead, nearly 1,000 workers will be sent home and the company will keep paying them 60% of their wages and full benefits.
"All of us in these companies are trying to extend pay as long as we can," Davis said, "so that they are able to maintain the business through this unknown time period in uncharted waters."
For weeks before the order to close down, Cambria had already implemented strict sanitizing and social distancing guidelines.
"It's a big plant," said Cambria Executive Vice President Brian Scoggin. "We don't have people congregated in areas and we've improved our housekeeping in terms of sanitation. How many times we do that across 24/7."
As for what happens if the governor extends the stay at home order beyond two weeks, Davis said he'll have to reassess what the company needs to do.
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