Thursday, April 2, 2020
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Beaver
Thursday, April 2, 2020
55.3 F
Beaver

Anchor Hocking To Suspend Operations After Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Anchor Hocking has informed staff it will be suspending operations at the end of the week. The company cites a decrease in demand for its products and safety concerns after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

As BeaverCountian.com first reported earlier today, Steven Robinson of Beaver Falls publicly announced on social media he had contracted coronavirus, describing a Rube Goldberg-esque process he took to receive medical care. County officials later confirmed Robinson was among several individuals in the county who had been discovered with the virus as a result of drive-by testing provided by Central Outreach Wellness Center in Aliquippa.

Anchor Hocking acknowledged Robinson’s diagnosis in a memo to employees today.

“We have received the test results confirming that one of our Forming Department Employees has tested positive for the Coronavirus. Per the CDC and OSHA guidelines we are informing you of your potential exposure to this infectious employee and you should closely self-monitor for signs and symptoms.”

Employees were instructed to notify the company if they experienced symptoms and not report for work until cleared by a doctor.

The company did not respond to request for comment by BeaverCountian.com. But it acknowledged being contacted by the press in the memo, reminding employees they are not authorized to speak on the company’s behalf without prior approval of its CEO.

As outrage over the company’s continued operation raged on social media, county commissioners were notified this afternoon of Anchor Hocking’s decision to suspend operations.

A memo to employees obtained by BeaverCountian.com reads in part:

“In light of the current situation with COVID-19, the sales decline as a result of the disruption of the US economy, and the safety and well being of our employees and communities surrounding our facility, we have made the difficult decision to shut the Monaca operation down. This decision was not taken lightly as we understand the impact this has on our employees.”

The letter goes on to state the company is set to shut down March 28 at 7 a.m. and reopen the morning of April 9.

“We will keep the furnace hot during the shutdown and will be carrying essential employees to control the furnace operations as well as some maintenance personnel to verify that the plant stays in a condition to resume operations.”

Multiple employees of the company contacted BeaverCountian.com today, complaining of alleged unhygienic conditions at the Monaca facility.

“There is no cleaning stuff in the break room,” said one employee who spoke on condition they not be named. “In the bathroom they have a bottle of Palmolive dish soap to wash your hands and everyone’s grabbing that same bottle … They don’t even have paper towels in the men’s bathroom.”

The employee said they noticed no changes in procedures as a result of the coronavirus diagnosis.

“People are still 2 feet apart pumping out glass like nothing’s going on, they’re back to back with each other … Corporate says they’re taking precautions but I haven’t seen anything anywhere in the building since I started my shift.”

Crews have been working mandatory 12-to-16-hour shifts, with overlapping crew members, according to copies of schedules provided by an employee. Workers said they fear such policies could spread the virus company-wide.

Another employee provided a copy of a form they were presented in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “They gave us a paper yesterday they wanted us to sign saying we could be terminated if you call off or go home.”

The “Mandatory/Essential Employee Designation Letter” form states all employees given the designation “are required to report to work during the COVID-19 Pandemic to ensure that essential operations of Anchor Hocking continue uninterrupted.” It goes on to state that, “a mandatory employee’s failure to report to work or remain at work may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.”

Workers say the company has been producing glass candle jars and wine bottles.

The employees praised Steven Robinson for revealing his diagnosis and urging others to get tested.

“I feel like a piece of shit on the bottom of their shoe,” said one worker. “At least he told the truth about what happened with him and told everyone to take care of themselves.”

See Also: Anchor Hocking Employee From Beaver Falls Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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John Paul
John Paul
John Paul is an award-winning investigative journalist and founder of BeaverCountian.com. He reports full-time for the site with a focus on public watchdog journalism.

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In Your Opinion

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GeorgiesgunsCleanupthecourthouseWeneedtosticktogethermarshamooreDisgruntled Recent comment authors
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Concern in pa
Guest
Concern in pa

Mtclove ones work at Anchor Hocking they come to check up on me cause i have COPD they needs to shut it down now

Cleanupthecourthouse
Member
Cleanupthecourthouse

Don’t worry we will all be in church on Easter Sunday says the great one with the pea brain! Keep drinking the kool-aid!

MysteryMan
Member
MysteryMan

He wants to declare everything is back to normal so he can go play golf on Easter Sunday.

Disgruntled
Guest
Disgruntled

Cheering on the virus to make the president look foolish. That’s pretty sick, really.

Veritas
Member
Veritas

This company is responsible for the welfare of its employees and its impact on the greater community. The conditions are typical of a third world country sweat shop. Close it down.

Cleanupthecourthouse
Member
Cleanupthecourthouse

Millennials, ISOLATE! You are not Invincible! Listen to the medical experts! Your social life is NOT more important than the lives of your Grandparents and family! My generation, when you graduated from high school, you either went to college or you were drafted in the army and sent to Vietnam. All we are asking you to do is stay home and play on your x boxes instead of spreading this deadly virus.

Weneedtosticktogether
Guest
Weneedtosticktogether

Listen to medical expects?? When they are the ones who say you have to be running a fever in order to have it and a few people were not running fevers and tested positive. So I rather not listen to medical expects because quite frankly they don’t even know a lot about this virus. They are learning as they go.

Cleanupthecourthouse
Member
Cleanupthecourthouse

They are saying you need a fever to be tested because we do not have enough tests to test everyone. Trump turned down testing kits from the World Health Organization and said we would use our own from the CDC which were found to be defective. Look at the numbers from the countries that have a hold on this killer virus. They have all tested and isolated all of their people that have the virus or have been in contact with someone infected. Instead Trump wants everyone to go to church in two weeks and that thinking will spread this virus even worse. So yes I will listen to the medical professionals and you listen to Trump and we will see who has the better outcome!

marshamoore
Member
marshamoore

The plant should close immediately, not at the end of the week. The number of infections goes up by the hour. Hundreds of people going in and out everyday is not responsible to the employees and the public.

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