Boeing had previously asked all employees who could work from home to do so, but that was not possible for people who work on assembly lines. The suspension of work at plants in Washington occurred after the coronavirus-related death of an employee in Everett, Washington.
The company said in its initial announcement last month that affected workers would be paid during the shutdown.
As for the extended suspension, affected workers will receive 10 days worth of pay to account for the 10 working days from the originally planned closure, and then will have to use PTO days for the continued closure, according to a Boeing spokesperson. If their available PTO days run out, they will have to use “absent without pay” days, at which point they will be eligible for unemployment benefits. The spokesperson said affected workers will continue to receive medical benefits throughout the shut down.
During the suspension, Boeing is implementing safety measures including visual cues to encourage physical distancing, more frequent cleaning of work and common areas and staggering shift times for essential workers who must continue coming to work during the closure, and which will be in place when operations can get up and running again.
On Wednesday the United Auto Workers union, which represents the Boeing hourly employees in Philadelphia, told members there have been two confirmed coronavirus cases among employees there. While one was working remotely, one had been continuing to work at the factory. No further information on their condition was revealed.
– CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report