Daimler vehicles, employees step up for Ukraine relief
By Mike Brezonick01 April 2022
As the Russian-Ukraine conflict continues, Daimler Truck and its employees from all over the world are aiming to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. As an immediate measure, the Executive Board of Daimler Truck approved a monetary donation of €1 million euros to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The company is also providing trucks and buses as well as touring coaches for aid deliveries free of charge, as well as donations in kind and personnel support for targeted support campaigns. Currently, employees can donate and the company will match the amount collected at the end.
Employee donations campaign for Ukraine
At the end of March, the Executive Board, the General Works Council and the World Employee Committee of Daimler Truck launched a worldwide employee donations campaign. The approximately 100,000 employees in all regions where the company operates want to show their commitment. In this campaign, ending in mid-April 2022, they can donate money via a central page. After the end of the appeal, Daimler Truck will match the total amount of money that has been donated up to that point.
The matched total from the employee donation campaign will go to UN Refugee Aid, the national partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in order to help the people in Ukraine directly affected by the war as well as those fleeing and displaced due to the war. In addition to distributing food, blankets, mattresses and other humanitarian supplies, UNHCR’s activities in recent weeks have included supporting local authorities in setting up transit and reception centres in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. With the money raised from the employee donation campaign, Daimler Truck is helping the organization to further expand its activities and capacities throughout the region.
“At Daimler Truck, it is very important to us to help the people in Ukraine,” said Jürgen Hartwig, member of the Executive Board of Daimler Truck AG for Human Resources. “Because in many cases, the attack on the country has changed their entire lives from one day to the next.
“We know that there is a great willingness among our employees worldwide to help the refugees from Ukraine. In a joint effort by companies and employee representatives, we are therefore launching a global fundraising campaign that will benefit UN refugee aid. We hope for a large turnout and look forward to matching the amount raised at the end. With this donation, we are expanding the relief efforts already initiated for the people of Ukraine.”
Michael Brecht, chairman of the General Works Council of Daimler Truck AG, is pleased about the straight-forward cross-border initiative. “The war in Ukraine is bringing great suffering to the population and is a humanitarian tragedy,” he said. “The joint donation initiative by the company, the General Works Council and the global employee representation gives us the opportunity to make our contribution to the people in Ukraine and at the same time demonstrates the global solidarity of our employees.”
Donation to UN Children’s Fund
As an immediate measure, the Executive Board of Daimler Truck had already approved a monetary donation of €1 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). From the urgently needed donations, UNICEF buys items including food, clean drinking water, first aid kits, toys and winter clothing for the children affected by the war.
Humanitarian Aid Ukraine task force coordinates relief operations
In the Humanitarian Aid Ukraine task force, employees from a wide range of divisions at the globally active commercial vehicle manufacturer coordinate the aid campaigns; because many volunteers from all Daimler Truck sites, branches, and national companies worldwide are involved in a large number of central and local aid projects that have been launched for the people in Ukraine since the beginning of the war.
The company has provided trucks and buses as well as touring coaches for aid deliveries free of charge, as well as donations in kind and money for targeted relief efforts. One example of this is the Daimler Truck aid convoy with five Actros semitrailer trucks that started in mid-March. It set off toward Poland from the commercial vehicle center in Würzburg via Neumünster and Eisenach. The vehicles transported 105 pallets of medical supplies to care for patients in the hospital in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. The cargo included water, disinfectant, hygiene products, food and medical equipment such as ultrasound machines.
Near the Ukrainian border, in the Polish town of Tomaszów Lubelski, relief supplies were reloaded onto Ukrainian trucks for further transport to Lviv. The convoy has been carried out in cooperation with the “Freunde helfen! Konvoi gGmbH” organization, which operates a well-functioning network in the neighboring countries. The organization’s volunteers have been organizing comparable aid convoys for many years and were able to contribute with valuable experience.
The company has also been involved in other joint campaigns. With the participation of numerous companies, Große-Vehne (Stuttgart) and Keller Group (Ditzingen) logistics providers also organized a relief convoy with a total of three 40-ton trucks to the Przemysl region in eastern Poland in mid-March. Daimler Truck supported the aid convoy with two trucks, donations of relief supplies, and volunteer drivers. The humanitarian supplies and food on board the trucks were then picked up by the Sekh Dobroty Charitable Foundation” aid organization and brought to the Lviv region. From there, they were distributed to the most affected areas of Ukraine.
In order to support the people in Ukraine with a short-term relief campaign, Daimler Truck employees from the Stuttgart area joined forces with the Ukrainer in Stuttgart e.V. association and collected relief supplies. Three relief convoys to the Polish city of Zgorzelec with the donated goods - sleeping bags, flasks, diapers, canned food, noodles and much more - had been organized from the beginning of March with a Mercedes-Benz Atego provided by Daimler Truck. A Ukrainian forwarder has taken responsibility for the further distribution in Ukraine.
In addition, the European subsidiaries of Daimler Truck and Daimler Buses are organizing a variety of local aid activities in their home countries. Many are providing buses and touring coaches to transport people and trucks to transport food, medicine and other much-needed supplies. In the countries directly bordering Ukraine, they are often also offering vehicle parking spaces and accommodation for the aid convoys from Germany.
Touring coaches are taking refugees to safety
Just as important as delivering aid is transporting people fleeing Ukraine to safe arrival destinations without any threat of war. For example, Daimler Truck’s Bus division has donated five Setra and Mercedes-Benz touring coaches to the German Red Cross.
Daimler Buses has also provided several bus and touring coach companies with demonstration buses and touring coaches free of charge. They were used by touring coach operators such as Bayer Reisen, Missel Reisen, Theos Reisen and Ruhrtalbus to transport medical and other urgently needed relief supplies to the Ukrainian borders. On the way back, they took the people from Ukraine arriving in the border regions of Slovakia and Poland. In the meantime, the campaigns have helped take many women, children, senior citizens and sick people to safe shelters and state-run refugee centers in Germany.
Another aid convoy is currently in preparation. As early as Friday of this week, five fully loaded Actros semitrailer trucks will set off to Poland. On board this time are once again medical supplies destined to help the population in the embattled city of Lviv. The trucks from Mercedes-Benz CharterWay and other divisions are being driven by Daimler Truck volunteers.