Heroic Factory Workers Finally Clock Out After 28-Day Shift of Producing Vital Health Care Materials
American laborers sacrificing to work a nearly month-long shift were finally able to clock out Monday.
Braskem America in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, has been in operation round-the-clock for at least 28 days, manufacturing raw materials needed for the production of N95 masks, hospital gowns and sanitary wipes put in short supply by the ongoing pandemic.
Of course, a manufacturing effort of that magnitude requires manpower and, according to WPVI-TV, 40 Braskem staff members have shouldered the responsibility, volunteering to live at the facility for four weeks straight in order to keep production moving.
Split into two teams, the laborers traded off working 12-hour shifts — eating, sleeping and breaking together on-site.
Their only connections to the outside world were television news broadcasts and drive-by “visits” from family and friends.
With the work taxing and the hours long, operations shift supervisor Joe Boyce told WPVI his staff were understandably relieved when clock-out came on Monday morning and they were able to return to their families.
“There’s been a glow in everyone’s eyes,” Boyce said.
The effort and sacrifice were well-invested, however, with the team of laborers unanimously agreeing the 28-day shift had been a worthwhile act of service.
“We’re truly honored to be able to give back and support people we will never meet in some way,” Boyce said.
“All the first responders, all the people on the frontlines, we thank you,” he added. “That’s what makes our job easy to do.”
In fact, with many businesses closed by government mandate and Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order extended by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf this week until May 8, Boyce suggested the opportunity had been something of a blessing.
He explained that the workers at Braskem were able to have some normal human interaction during their month on the job.
“We’ve almost been the lucky ones, I’ll say for the last 28 days because I haven’t had to stand six feet from somebody. I haven’t had to put a mask on,” he said.
“More than 40 employees volunteered to spend 28 days at the Braskem America plant in Marcus Hook, near Philadelphia, to make polypropylene — a raw material needed to make N95 masks, medical gowns and other protective gear.” https://t.co/PGlHnBe4uf
— AAM (@KeepitMadeinUSA) April 21, 2020
More than 40 employees at #Braskem in Marcus Hook #Delco volunteered to stay four full weeks to make polypropylene, the material needed for N95 masks, medical gowns and other #PPE. Such a great example of the spirit of our community! https://t.co/lAsUoj8i5X
— Senator Tom Killion (@SenKillion) April 21, 2020
Pennsylvania state Sen. Tom Killion praised Braskem America staff on Twitter, calling their efforts “a great example of the spirit of our community!”
The Alliance for American Manufacturing also took note of company’s hard work in bolstering the U.S. virus response, tweeting a virtual round of applause.
All 40 employees have been given a week off before they are expected to return to the facility to work their normal hours, according to WPVI.
They will also all reportedly receive a raise.
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