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Boeing to temporarily halt S.C. 787 operations

Manufacturing
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Boeing will temporarily suspend all 787 operations in South Carolina starting Wednesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension affects Boeing’s Airport Campus, Emergent Operations, Interiors Responsibility Center South Carolina and Propulsion South Carolina. Operations will be halted after Wednesday’s second shift and will remain suspended until further notice.

Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager of the 787 program and Boeing S.C. site leader, said in a news release that the suspension of operations is in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the state and the virus’s impact on the reliability of the global supply chain.

“We are working in alignment with state and local government officials and public health officials to take actions that best protect our people,” he said.

Boeing employees who can work remotely will continue to do so, but those who cannot will receive paid leave for 10 working days, which is double the company policy. After 10 days, employees will have the option to use a combination of available paid time off benefits or file for emergency state unemployment benefits.

The company has 7,000 employees in South Carolina, but it does not disclose how many are assigned to different responsibilities.

Boeing plans to conduct “enhanced cleaning activities” at its sites during the suspension and will continue to monitor the global supply chain.

Boeing said Sunday that it is extending the temporary suspension of its Puget Sound, Wash., production operations, which began March 25. The suspension of operations was slated to last two weeks but is now extended indefinitely.

The company also temporarily suspended its Philadelphia-area operations last week; that site includes manufacturing and production facilities for military rotorcraft, including the H-47 Chinook, V-22 Osprey and MH-139A Grey Wolf. The Philadelphia suspension is expected to last until April 20.

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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