Delaware County workers going home after 28 days making COVID-19 protective gear

Monday, April 20, 2020
Delaware County workers making protective gear going home after 28 days on job
Delaware County plant workers who spent 28 days at their job making gear for health care workers got to go home on Sunday.

MARCUS HOOK, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Nearly a month after clocking in, employees at Braskem America in Delaware County, Pennsylvania were finally able to go home.

More than 40 workers unanimously decided to leave their families, agreeing to eat, sleep and live at the facility where they make equipment for health care workers.

The team worked 12-hour shifts. TV and the occasional drive-by from family members were the only outside contact they've had.

"There's been a glow in everyone's eyes," said operations shift supervisor, Joe Boyce.

Boyce says the group was split among two shifts to make polypropylene, the raw materials used to produce a non-woven fiber used to make N95 masks, hospital gowns, and sanitary wipes.

RELATED: Delaware County workers sleep at job for 28 days to make gear for health care workers

In Delaware County, there's a group of people sleeping at work for nearly a month to make equipment to help keep others safe.

"We're truly honored to be able to give back and support people we will never meet in some way," he said.

Boyce says to a degree this moment is bittersweet.

The team is realizing the world around them has significantly changed in the past month.

"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," Boyce explained.

But it's a small price to pay knowing that work they've all put forth is making a difference in the battle against COVID-19.

"All the first responders, all the people on the frontlines, we thank you. That's what makes our job easy to do," Boyce said.

The group gets a week off before returning to a normal workweek.

Braskem rewarding these employees with an increase in wages.


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