Workers head home after 28 days of making COVID-19 protective gear

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

More than 40 workers unanimously deciding 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 only outside contact they've had.

"There's been a glow in everyone's eyes, I'll say," said operations shift supervisor at Braskem America Joe Boyce.

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

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

Boyce said 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 is rewarding these employees with an increase in wages.
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