PHILADELPHIA (CNN) – Workers at a Pennsylvania manufacturing plant got to clock out and go home for the first time in almost a month after a marathon effort to make material needed for personal protective medical equipment.
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.
The crews worked 12-hour shifts, while they were away from their families and friends, but got occasional drive-by visits from loved ones, who waved signs and honked their horns in support.
“We’re truly honored to be able to give back and support people we will never meet in some way,” operations shift supervisor Joe Boyce told WPVI.
The workers seemed excited to be going home and video showed some whooping as they punched the time clock but Boyce says the world has changed a lot while they’ve been at work.
“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 said. “All the first responders, all the people on the front lines, we thank you. That’s what makes our job easy to do.”
The plant makes 771 million pounds of polypropylene each year, according to the company’s website.
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