Boeing to suspend production in Puget Sound area, including P-8 and KC-46A work

By Marjorie Censer / March 23, 2020 at 1:10 PM

Boeing's planned two-week suspension of its Puget Sound-area production operations will include P-8 and KC-46A work, a spokesman confirmed today.

Boeing announced today it will temporarily halt 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 it will begin cutting production today and will suspend it Wednesday for 14 days.

The spokesman said Boeing is "actively engaged with our defense customers to minimize any impacts on their missions."

"Certain non-production work for all commercial derivative aircraft programs, including for the KC-46 remote vision system enhancements, will continue being done by employees working remotely," he added.

Boeing said during the closure it 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," the company added. "Those who cannot 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."

Boeing said that once the suspension ends, it will take "an orderly approach" to restarting production.

"Boeing is working to minimize this suspension's impact on the company's ability to deliver and support its defense and space programs, and ensure the readiness of our defense customers to perform their vital missions," the company added. "Boeing will work closely with those customers in the coming days to develop plans that ensure customers are supported throughout this period. Critical distribution operations in support of airline, government, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) customers will continue."

Late last week, Boeing also announced its chief executive and chairman will forego all pay until the end of the year to help the company navigate the coronavirus. Additionally, the company suspended its dividend and extended its pause of share repurchasing, which began in April 2019. -- Additional reporting by Courtney Albon