COVID-19 Causes Boeing to Suspend Puget Sound Production

A P-8A Poseidon sits parked on the apron of Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, on Feb. 26. The P-8A Poseidon is manufactured by Boeing, which is suspending production in the Puget Sound area in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Washington state. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Sua

CHICAGO — Boeing has temporarily suspended production operations at its Puget Sound-area facilities 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, the company said in a release. 

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 Boeing release said. 

Boeing planned to begin reducing production activity on March 23 and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on March 25 at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations is set to 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 deep-clean at impacted sites and establish rigorous criteria for return to work. 

“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun said. 

“We continue to work closely with public health officials, and we’re in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension. We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it’s vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.” 

Puget Sound area-based employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who can’t work remotely will receive paid leave for the initial 10 working days of the suspension — double the company policy — which will provide coverage for the 14-calendar-day suspension period. 

When the suspension is lifted, Boeing will take an orderly approach to restarting production with a focus on safety, quality and meeting customer commitments. This will be a key step to enabling the aerospace sector to bridge to recovery.