A REASSURING RETURN
Alejandro Nolasco admits he felt apprehension about returning to his job at Autotek Puebla in August after battling COVID-19.
The virus had sickened Nolasco, a Magna maintenance employee, along with his wife Maria del Rosario, and his children, Alejandro, 15, and Aldair, 12. It also took the life of his brother-in-law Raul, a 48-year-old musician. They fell ill due to community spread of the disease, and Nolasco, a diabetic, suffered for days with a high fever, chills, headaches and muscle pain.
“I was afraid of rejection at work, but what I got was incredible emotional support,” he said. “I walked into the plant after being sick and I was welcomed. I saw great safety measures in place. It feels safer at the plant than any other place. The staff is doing the right things, and always making an effort to keep improving.”
I can’t even begin to express how I feel about what my company is doing. Proud is not the word. I would like to have a better word to explain how working at this company is like my second home.
The 20-year Magna veteran works the 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift and is responsible for automation maintenance for the presses at the plant. Social distancing is maintained with plastic barriers and signs painted on the floor. Workers wear gloves, masks and face shields, and “continually” sanitize their hands, tools and surroundings. New rules limit close gatherings in the cafeteria and the locker room.
After his return, Nolasco helped to reinforce the company’s safety message by appearing in a video that has been shown to employees at three Magna divisions in Mexico. Dressed in his work clothes, he sits in a chair outside of the plant and tells a riveting story.
“People think it won’t happen to them and they won’t get sick,” he said. “But it happens. It’s important to take precautions at work and at home. In the future, there will be enough time to celebrate, have parties – and be happy again.”
Looking back, Nolasco credits his family, his faith and his company with getting him through one of the most difficult times in his life.
“Every day at 8 p.m. there was a video call with my family where we would pray the rosary together and put our trust in God, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Jude,” he recalled. “That gave me strength. So did Magna. I can’t even begin to express how I feel about what my company is doing. Proud is not the word. I would like to have a better word to explain how working at this company is like my second home.”