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UFCW Local 354 chemical workers respond to COVID-19 by making hand sanitizer, disinfectant for hospitals

April 30, 2020 Updated: September 8, 2020

Members of UFCW Local 354 who work at GEO Specialty Chemicals in Cedartown, Ga., in partnership with another local company, recently manufactured thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant in response to the recent coronavirus outbreak. The members are employed as engineering and process technicians.

The GEO Specialty Chemicals Cedartown facility, which manufactures and supplies chemicals worldwide, was recently approached by the local economic development council and industrial development board about the company’s capability of manufacturing hand sanitizer and disinfectant using an approved World Health Organization formula. In partnership with another local company, Meggitt Polymers and Composites in Rockmart, members of UFCW Local 354 quickly and successfully identified on hand raw materials and converted an idle process reactor in the facility to produce enough sanitizer and disinfectant for 2,500 bottles or over 8,000 pounds of hand sanitizer and disinfectant. The bottles will be distributed to local hospitals and other organizations in the area where there is the greatest need.

“We consider our members to be our greatest asset, and the reason for our long history of success at GEO Specialty Chemicals,” said UFCW Local 354 President Jason Stroup. “This is just an extension of our willingness to work together to show what we are capable of when challenged with a project.”

“This is a small, rural and tight knit community of which I am proud to be a part,” Stroup added. “Currently, it is incumbent upon all people of all walks of life to give of themselves during this time of national crisis to help our neighbors, our communities, and our country and put away our differences. I can speak for everyone at GEO and Local 354 when I say it is the least we can do and what we have done here at GEO for the past 83 years.”