Boeing has extended the shutdown of its Seattle manufacturing site until further notice.
Leslie Josephs reported the news for CNBC:
Boeing is extending production shut down at its Seattle-area airplane factories “until further notice” because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Sunday.
The manufacturer last month said it would pause production for two weeks at the facilities, where it produces wide-body planes. It had already suspended production in January of the 737 Max, which has been grounded for more than a year after two fatal crashes.
“These actions are being taken in light of the company’s continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities,” Boeing said in a statement. The decision does not impact work at its 787 facilities in South Carolina, a spokesman said.
About 135 Boeing employees have tested positive for COVID-19, a Boeing spokesman said. Boeing employs about 160,000 people.
Dominic Gates from the Seattle Times reported:
The company told employees Sunday in an email it “is extending the temporary suspension of operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice.”
Boeing has roughly 70,000 employees in the state. The decision affects about 30,000 of them, mostly production workers. Other employees who can work from home will continue to do so, and volunteer employees will continue to maintain essential services at the plants.
Boeing’s decision comes as Washington state continues to report increasing numbers of coronavirus cases, though at a slower rate than some other areas of the country. On Sunday, state Department of Health officials confirmed an additional 393 cases and 28 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state total to 7,984 cases and 338 fatalities. The bulk of the cases remain in King County, where 3,158 people have fallen ill and 208 have died.
Boeing said its decision was based on its “continuing focus on the health and safety of its employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the reliability of the supply chain, and additional recommendations from government health authorities.”
The AP wrote:
Boeing said Sunday it will continue its shutdown of production indefinitely at its Seattle area facilities due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The company in an email to Washington employees said it is extending the planned two-week shutdown rather than reopening Wednesday. The decision affects about 30,000 of Boeing’s 70,000 employees in the state.
The company said the decision is based on the health and safety of its employees, assessment of the coronavirus spread, supply chain concerns and recommendations from government health officials.
“The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal. “We will take this time to continue to listen to our incredible team, and assess applicable government direction, the spread of the coronavirus in the community, and the reliability of our suppliers to ensure we are ready for a safe and orderly return to operations.”