Workers live at West Virginia plant during virus scare

KENOVA, W.Va. (AP) — While Americans have learned how to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, some employees at one West Virginia production plant have been living at work for almost a month.

More than 40 employees at Braskem America’s facility near Kenova have volunteered to be at the plant since March 31, ramping up production of polymer materials used in medical supplies, Braskem spokesman Gerard McGuigan told The Herald-Dispatch.

The workers rotate on 12-hour shifts. The materials they produce are used in the production of respiratory masks and medical gowns as well as for food packaging.

The company increased the workers’ wages and provided them with beds, groceries, fully functioning kitchens, iPads and high-speed internet access. Although they’ve remained at the factory, the workers were given the option to leave the plant if health or family emergencies arose.

McGuigan said the employees will remain at the facility until Tuesday.

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