• Ulma Group

ULMA people in times of coronavirus

May 14, 2020
On 14 March, the government decreed the state of alarm to face the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, in order to ensure the protection of the health its citizens, containment of the disease, and the reinforcement of the public health system.

At ULMA, a committee was established since its beginning to monitor the situation and coordinate the necessary preventive actions to address this unknown situation.

Two months have passed since the announcement of these measures and all of us at ULMA have worked following the health and safety recommendations and experienced special and difficult moments, with professional and personal concerns.

This is what the people at ULMA have to say.

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“Professionally, it is a turbulent and uncertain period to which I am having a difficult time adapting. I believe that this whole situation is here to stay and that we must make great efforts at the technological level to adapt to the new times and new technologies. From the IT departments, we must advocate for the delivery of the best services to our businesses, providing technology and security to all our processes.

Digital transformation must be part of our culture. I believe that we have a great challenge in transforming the entire company, as we must be agile in adapting new technologies.

Personally, it is being a challenge to manage family life and professional development, as I consider that both aspects are components to be taken care of. The education and studies of my children with telecommuting is a task never defined before, and it is definitely being a major challenge.

I think that we will experience these types of processes more regularly than we would like, so I believe that they are times of rapid adaptation to the environment. Professionally, I believe that important and ambitious challenges await us, and these are challenges that everyone in the IT area likes to face.

Personally, I am concerned about our cooperatives and the situation in trying to make sure that they have some degree of comfort. I think that there are times to get close to each other, and now we must make the best to be cooperative members.

At the family level, I hope that ULMA can develop more ambitious family reconciliation programmes and policies and that we can carry out telecommuting work at specific times. This would assist in ensuring a good family development.

I would like to give my encouragement to everyone and I hope that we will emerge stronger from this long-distance race.”

MIKEL KEREJETA
ULMA Grop

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“…We have had to change our habits, reorganise our daily lives, and after all, create new routines.

Although there are many rules and limits to be met in this situation, it is clear that there are also good things…”

AITOR LAKA
ULMA Advanced Forged Solutions

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“I am currently doing well. At the beginning of all this situation, it was actually a quite difficult time. I suppose that, that was the case for everyone, as we did not know for sure what was coming. Everything was uncertain, and we had questions and fears.

In my personal case, the situation worsened as I began to show symptoms I had to be in isolation and ultimately quarantined. At that time, the situation was precarious and they did not carry out any type of test. After a month, I joined came back to work, and in the company, they gave me a quick test and it was seen that the Covid-19 was gone. Luckily, everything has gone well and I am fine.

I would like to thank the company’s nurse and physician for the care I received, since in those hard moments, they were in contact with me at all times and following my evolution.

At this moment, on a personal level, I do not have any concern, although I would like all those people who have been around me to be tested. On the other hand, I hope that it does not affect the company professionally.”

IÑAKI BELLIDO
ULMA Agrícola

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“We have handled the current coronavirus situation with calm and responsibility. The family situation was better at the beginning than now. At this time, family members are looking forward to being with family and friends. In general, the people in our environment are in good health.

The situation at work is one of nervousness and alarm, since we do not know what it will bring us in the short term. Within the ULMA group, some businesses are operating quite well, but in others, it will be difficult for us to reach the previous situation. I hope that this situation will make each of us stronger and more supportive.

Cheer up, everyone!”

XABI AXPE
ULMA Architectural Solutions

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“The fact is that things are going relatively well considering the ugliness of the situation. The current situation is causing great uncertainty and concern, both in terms of health, due to the dramatic effects that this virus can have, and in economic terms, as the impacts remain to be seen in terms of how it will affect us.

After the initial phase of confusion, we are adapting week by week, and we have already adopted habits that help us carry on much better.

We will need everything to get back to the normality that we had, which we will surely enjoy again without much change at the social level, at least.”

ANDER OLLO
ULMA Construction

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“In my case, both my wife and I have been working practically since the alarm state occurred. Not being able to be with family members and friends is what has affected me the most regarding the coronavirus so far. Being at home is hard without being able to leave, although you do end up getting to know your neighbours a bit better.

As for professional concerns, we have gone through some very tough years until last year. Last year, we thought that we were going to keep our heads afloat this year. And then, this came up, and like all businesses, it gave us a very difficult time, causing us to stagger whilst looking at the near future with a lot of uncertainty.

As for personal concerns, I have two children, one of whom is 17 years old with school exams ahead. She is studying from home, and now since before the confinement, we have face uncertainty regarding the exams. On the other hand, not being able to get close to your family and friends is tough, although I am happy for not having anyone close who has been affected by the coronavirus.”

IGOR BARREDO
ULMA Coveyor Components

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“The truth is that, at the family level, I am surprised at how well my family has managed it, especially my children, although I do not know what would have happened without Wi-Fi.

Initially, they thought it was a kind of holiday period, but did not last long because they were not able to enjoy a typical Easter.

Like everyone else, we have organised our wardrobes and painted walls… We have become teachers, but above all, we have eaten up all the yeast stocks (those heavenly biscuits!).

We are now looking forward to the new steps we will take, whilst taking advantage of the moments allowed to enjoy the “outside.”

At the professional level, I remain concerned with how this will evolve. My wife is currently on leave, and the expectations that her company will return to normal are not very encouraging. Luckily, even if we have to tighten our belts, we have the strength to belong to a large group, but that does not change the fact that there is a level of concern.”

IGOR ARTIGUEZ
ULMA Handling Systems

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“It has been a tremendous change. Our daily lives have been radically changed overnight. The worst was at first. We did not know how long it would last, the lack of knowledge was greater, there was too much changing information, many people died… And nothing else was being mentioned in the media. Our factory has not been closed at any time, and that has also helped me to pass the days faster and to keep my routine. We are now doing better, because things are improving little by little, and gradually, we can get out of the house a little more. I miss our “life” from before, but both the people around me and I are in good health, and that is what matters. We now really value the little things we could do before. What I miss the most is not being able to be close to my family and friends.

It seems that, at the moment, the company will maintain the workload, so we are very happy. We are privileged in that sense. At the moment, our sector remains operational. We will have to see how this will affect us in the future. Working with children at home is not easy, but with the flexibility with which we work – we do it in shifts – at the time, we are adapting well. In these moments, we become more than ever aware of the importance of grandparents in taking care of children.”

LIDE ARANBURU
ULMA Packaging

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“My first concern regarding this exceptional state of alarm is the health of those around me. I am concerned about the health of my family, my environment, and that of my co-workers.

Working from home seems comfortable at first. You do not have to waste time with commuting, but you do feel helpless when you are unable to visit your clients.

The phone keeps ringing. I talk with colleagues and clients, but the eye contact is missing, and now I value that contact more than ever. The calls are not about battles to achieve more sales or to see what the competition is doing. They are instead more “human” calls, to see how the other is doing and, above all, to give encouragement.

At home, there is more time to listen to the news, but I am trying to get a fair outlook and not get intoxicated with crazy figures of infected or deceased people. I am more concerned about the country’s economic situation.

I am worrying about the situation in the industrial market, which is our business.  The break has been important in many sectors, although not in the food & distribution sectors, so we are holding on to sectors that are keeping things going at the moment. We need to trust that the other sectors that concern us will recover little by little, because I also think about the people who have lost their jobs and need to recover them as quickly as possible.

I am not losing hope. I value more aspects such as family and home, and I trust that this blow will make all of us stronger in light of the challenges that we still have to face.”

JOSÉ ANTONIO AUGUSTO
ULMA Maintenance Services