Boeing temporarily shuts down Seattle-area factories

March 23, 2020, 5:40 PM UTC

Boeing is temporarily shuttering its Seattle-area factories, adding to a wave of plant closings sweeping the globe and compounding hurdles for a company already reeling from the grounding of its top-selling plane.

The shutdown will begin March 25 and last 14 days, Boeing said in a statement. The company will conduct deep cleaning at affected sites and establish “rigorous criteria for return to work.”

The closing leaves Boeing with just one fully functioning jetliner factory, a 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina. Production at the company’s facility in Renton, Washington, largely stopped in January because of the global 737 Max grounding, imposed a year ago after two deadly crashes.

“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” said Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun. He said the company was working with public health officials, customers and others.

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