Cummins Suspends Russia Operations
The parent company of one of Chautauqua County’s biggest employers is suspending all commercial operations in Russia.
Cummins Inc.’s Board of Directors made the decision Thursday and announced the move publicly on Friday.
“On Thursday, March 17, the Cummins Board of Directors made the decision to suspend all commercial operations in Russia indefinitely as the attacks on Ukraine intensify and a peaceful resolution does not appear imminent. We are now taking steps to wind down operations expeditiously,” the company said in a news released posted on its website. “Our primary concern has been and remains the safety and wellbeing of those whose lives have been affected by this alarming situation.”
The United States and its allies have put a slew of sanctions in place aimed at crippling the Russian economy. Hundreds of international companies have announced that they are curtailing operations in Russia, and those who remain are under pressure to pull out. Prior to Thursday’s decision, Cummins had been continuing essential operations in Russia, according to a list put together by the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute. Among the companies that have stopped Russian operations are Ashton Martin, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Nissan, Porche, Stellantis, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo, while equipment and manufacturing companies that have closed their Russian facilities include AGCO, Bridgestone Americas, Caterpillar, Honeywell, John Deere, Komatsu, 3M, Otis and Stanley Black & Decker.
According to the Associated Press, a U.N. migration agency estimates that nearly 6.5 million people have now been displaced inside Ukraine, on top of the 3.2 million refugees who have already fled the country. The estimates from the International Organization for Migration suggest Ukraine is fast on a course in just three weeks toward the levels of displacement from Syria’s devastating war — which has driven about 13 million people from their homes both in the country and abroad. The findings come in a paper issued Friday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. It cited the IOM figures as “a good representation of the scale of internal displacement in Ukraine — calculated to stand at 6.48 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine as of March 16.”
“We strongly condemn the actions of the Russian government, which is putting millions of innocent people at risk and turning millions of Ukrainian citizens into refugees,” Cummins officials said in their statement. “That concern also extends to our 700 employees and thousands of end-user customers in Russia and the impact on citizens who are not participants in this invasion. This decision is very difficult for our employees affected in Russia, our company, our communities, and our customers. We have deep care and concern for our employees and are making every effort to minimize the impact on them. We are evaluating the best ways to support our employees during this difficult time in accordance with local laws and regulations.”
Cummins is partnering with GlobalGiving, its grant-making partner, to launch the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. Additionally, its employees are volunteering overseas to help as well.
“We have quickly mobilized our employees and resources to aid communities in the region,” the company said. “To provide immediate assistance for short-term emergency refugee needs, Cummins is starting with $250,000 in fast-tracked grants. In addition, employees are volunteering themselves. We are actively working with community organizations, especially in Romania and Poland, to determine how we can assist as the refugees arrive in new communities.”