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Boeing temporarily stops Washington production amid COVID-19

Last Updated Mar 23, 2020 at 10:42 am PDT

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo a worker looks up underneath a Boeing 737 MAX jet in Renton, Wash. Boeing sold no new airline jets in January, and now the company is worried that the virus outbreak in China could hurt airplane deliveries in the first quarter. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Summary

Boeing operates major facilities in cities like Everett and Renton, employing thousands

The two week suspension is set to start Wednesday, March 25

Employees who can't work from home during the shutdown will be paid, Boeing says

EVERETT, Wash. (NEWS 1130) – Citing the COVID-19 pandemic that has left most of Washington state hunkering down, aerospace giant Boeing will be temporarily suspending production at their Puget Sound facilities, according to a press release.

The company says the full suspension kicks in by Wednesday, March 25, and will last for two weeks. Boeing has a significant presence in both Everett and Renton, housing production for airplanes like the 777, 787, and 737.

“These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers,” the company wrote in a statement.

Employees will be paid during the temporary shutdown, the company says.

Saying now is the time for bold actions like these, Washington Governor Jay Inslee responded to the move: “I applaud Boeing’s decision to implement an orderly shutdown and continue to pay its workers during this difficult time.”

Earlier, The Seattle Times reported that a Boeing worker in Everett, Wash. died after contracting the virus. The report says the person worked on the 787 project.

While headquarters for the airplane manufacturer and defense contractor took flight to Chicago years ago, Boeing maintains a significant presence on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.

In addition to the production facilities in Everett and Renton, Boeing uses Moses Lake as a testing area for new aircraft. Those working at the Moses Lake facility are included in this shutdown order.

Trading Boeing stock was temporarily halted as the company announced the news.