Tire giant offers free grub to long-haul drivers

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>SUBMITTED PHOTO</p><p>Bridgewater Michelin worker Barry Mills hands out a free lunch to a happy driver.</p>

Drivers hauling across the provincial border who need to make a stop at Bridgewater's Michelin plant can snag some free grub courtesy of the multinational tire giant.

Long-distance drivers are being offered a gratis feed that includes a sandwich, chips, a drink, and dessert whenever they leave any of the Michelin plants in the province, including the one off Logan Road in Bridgewater's business park. The program spans the month of May.

"We heard about the challenges that long-haul drivers, in particular, are facing with restaurant and rest stop closures and thought we could help," Nicolle Vuotto, spokeswoman for Michelin North America (Canada), told LighthouseNOW.

"It's our way of saying thank you to the men and women who are helping to keep our operations, and our communities as a whole, running smoothly. So far, the response from the drivers has been positive and our employees say they're happy to help put a smile on someone's face."

The Bridgewater plant, which ordinarily staffs about 1,200 people, is the town's largest private sector employer. The local site produces tires for various types of vehicles, in addition to steel cord products. Michelin announced partial shutdowns and reduced operations March 20 in response to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the Waterville, Kings County plant produced hospital scrubs for health-care facilities in the Valley and South Shore. Michelin is also donating hundreds of thousands of face masks to the province for health-care and other frontline workers to use. Another 75,000 face-coverings went to assist communities in Quebec where the corporation has marketing and sales offices.

Meanwhile, the Bridgewater plant is giving away up to 40 lunches per day, Vuotto said.

"We purchase the lunches from Sodexo, the food service provider for our plant cafeterias," she explained. "They're available for long-distance drivers throughout the day."

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