Boeing factory operations across the Puget Sound region (including Everett, pictured here) will be suspended on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. A Boeing worker was reported Sunday to have died from the virus. (File photo)

Boeing factory operations across the Puget Sound region (including Everett, pictured here) will be suspended on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. A Boeing worker was reported Sunday to have died from the virus. (File photo)

Boeing halting factory work following COVID-19 death

Company adjusts its paid leave during shutdown on Wednesday

Boeing will suspend its Puget Sound factory operations and maintenance activities on the grounded 737 MAX airplanes at Moses Lake for 14 days beginning Wednesday, the company announced Monday.

Boeing managers told production workers to report to their assigned shifts on Monday to receive “guidance on their role in the suspension shutdown process.”

The company said it will double paid leave due to a shutdown caused by an “extraneous event,” usually weather-related, from five working days to 10 days. It will give employees full pay for the entire break, including weekends, of 14 days, according to the Seattle Times.

On Sunday, a Boeing worker died of COVID-19 complications. The company said that 29 employees have been confirmed to be infected by the virus.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun wrote in an internal message to employees: “This is a time like no other for our company, our industry, our communities. The fight to save lives by halting the spread of COVID-19 around the world is demanding actions that few of us could have imagined even a few weeks ago.

“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.”

Boeing officials said production activity will begin to reduce on Monday, with operations suspended beginning Wednesday at sites across the Puget Sound area.

“The suspension of production operations will 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, we will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.”

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