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Boeing halts ML operations

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | March 23, 2020 11:41 PM

CHICAGO — Boeing is closing down its production operations in the state of Washington, including Moses Lake, for the next two weeks, the aerospace giant said on Monday.

“The temporary suspension of operations includes our Moses Lake site,” said Boeing spokesperson Bernard Choi in an email to the Columbia Basin Herald. “A small contingent of folks will remain on our site to continue essential work such as security and proper storage of finished airplanes.”

The company said it was closing its Washington operations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak beginning on March 25 “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.”

During the 14-day shutdown, the company said it will monitor the COVID-19 situation and will pay those employees who cannot work from home.

“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. “We will keep our employees, customers and supply chain top of mind as we continue to assess the evolving situation. This is an unprecedented time for organizations and communities across the globe.”

Boeing does not have a production facility in Moses Lake but employs several hundred people here to care for the more than 250 737 Max aircraft that are stored at Grant County International Airport.