Boeing Renton Wash 737assembly 1540

Boeing Extends, Expands Plant Shutdowns

April 7, 2020
The aircraft builder prolonged indefinitely the idling of its Seattle area plants, and also announced suspension of operations at its 787 assembly complex in North Charleston, S.C.

The Boeing Co. extended indefinitely the plant idling it first instituted in late March, and expanded it beyond the Puget Sound operations to the Boeing South Carolina complex. The aircraft builder implemented a two-week shutdown of plants in the Seattle area on March 23 effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but now indicates those suspensions will continue. 

Rival Airbus SA reportedly also will suspend production at its assembly plant in Mobile, Ala., until April 29. Airbus previously paused operations in France and Spain due to the spread of COVID-19. The Alabama plant assembles A320 and A220 commercial jets.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner assembly complex in North Charleston, S.C., was not affected by the company's March idling decision, but now its activities will be suspended "until further notice," according to a statement.

Boeing operations in other areas are so far unaffected.

“It is our commitment to focus on the health and safety of our teammates while assessing the spread of the virus across the state, its impact on the reliability of our global supply chain and that ripple effect on the 787 program,” stated Brad Zaback, v.p. and general manager of the 787 Program and Boeing South Carolina site leader. “We are working in alignment with state and local government officials and public health officials to take actions that best protect our people.”

Boeing South Carolina workers who work remotely will continue to do so, while others will be paid for 10 days and then will have the option to use available paid time-off benefits or file for emergency state unemployment benefits. All employee benefits will continue during the suspension.

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