Boeing halted production across their Seattle operations for at least 14 days, taking the decision overnight. Boeing, which started in the Seattle, Washington area, still has almost all their commercial aircraft assembly lines there (except for one facility for the 787s in South Carolina). Boeing has had quite a few cases of employees contracting CoVid19, and one even died.
In a statement issued to the media, Boeing announced this suspension in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region.
Boeing projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. Boeing has two major facilities in the region. Their Everett facility manufactures components as well as assembles their widebody aircraft, including the 787 and the 777s, and employs about 40,000 people, working 24×7. The Renton facility, where the 737 is produced, has approximately 10,000 employees. Most of the personnel on the 737 production line have been currently reassigned to other projects inside the company.
The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, Boeing will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.
Puget Sound area-based employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for the period of the suspension.
Update: The shutdown has been extended for the time being without any end date in sight
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