Spirit AeroSystems to reassess re-starting its Boeing programs after Puget Sound suspension

SEATTLE (AP/KWCH) Sunday, March 5, 2020- 6:20 p.m.

With Boeing's announcement to extend the temporary shutdown of its Puget Sound, Spirit AeroSystems says the company will reassess re-starting its Boeing programs on April 8.

Spirit says the company will communicate its revised plans to employees over the coming days.
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Boeing says it will continue its shutdown of production indefinitely at its Seattle area facilities due to the spread of the coronavirus.

In a press release Sunday, the company said it is extending the planned two-week shutdown rather than reopening Wednesday. The decision affects about 30,000 of Boeing's 70,000 employees in the state.

The company says the decision is based on the health and safety of its employees, assessment of the coronavirus spread, supply chain concerns and recommendations from government health officials.

“The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. “We will take this time to continue to listen to our incredible team and assess applicable government direction, the spread of the coronavirus in the community and the reliability of our suppliers to ensure we are ready for a safe and orderly return to operations.”

During the suspension, the company will continue to implement additional health and safety measures at its facilities to protect employees. These measures include new visual cues to encourage physical distancing, more frequent and thorough cleaning of work and common areas and staggering shift times to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing work, among several other improvements.

Employees are receiving their regular salaries during the two-week shutdown, but will have to transition to vacation or sick leave after that. 

Spirit AeroSystems suspended most of its work last month to mirror Boeing's shutdown, but workers were supposed to start reporting back Wednesday.

Eyewitness New has reached out to Spirit to find out if Boeing's new plan will impact workers in Wichita.