Workers lived in factories in the United States for nearly a month to make personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of the response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year.
The Braskem America employees spent 28 days living at two factories, one in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania and the other in Neal, West Virginia. The latter group is slated to complete their shift on April 28.
Dozens of workers at the factory in Pennsylvania volunteered to live in the building without seeing family members. They ate, slept, watched television, and worked out when not doing 12-hour shifts.
“We’re truly honored to be able to give back and support people we will never meet in some way,” Joe Boyce, a shift supervisor, told WPVI.
“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 added.
The group got a week off before returning to its normal schedule.
Braskem also increased the pay for each of the workers who completed the stints.
Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO, said in a statement that the groups were “‘live-in’ manufacturing teams” positioned at key facilities “to help ensure the health and safety of our team members who are working as an essential service throughout this crisis to keep these key supply lines running.”
According to a press release from the company, more live-in teams were planned for the future.
The teams enable factories to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams were provided sleeping accommodations, meals in onsite kitchens, broadband Internet, and iPads, according to information shared with The Epoch Times by Braskem’s external communications representatives.
No visitors to the plants were allowed. Team members had the option of leaving for family emergencies or other matters.
“Braskem is recognizing and supporting these team members with enhanced employee compensation, onsite kitchens and supplies to sustain these resiliency teams as they continue to operate the manufacturing facilities in isolation. Additionally, Braskem has deployed stringent facility cleaning protocols, social distancing practices, restrictions on plant visitation, and where appropriate implemented fully remote working environments,” the company said in a statement.
Braskem manufactures material that is required to produce N95 masks and surgical gowns.