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UPDATE April 5, 2020 – Boeing Extends Temporary Suspension of Operations in Washington
Apr 05, 2020

UPDATE April 5, 2020 – Boeing Extends Temporary Suspension of Operations in Washington

Dear Members:

As we navigate these uncharted times, we understand the great concern this is causing you and your families. We are working hard to protect your interests during this ever-changing landscape.

In daily discussions with Boeing, we expressed ongoing issues about keeping the workplace safe when operations resume and also raised concerns from state and federal experts and our members about returning to work during the next two weeks, a time considered the most critical in regards to slowing the rate of infection. We also expressed that if suspended operations were extended, our members should be paid during that time.

Just this morning, we were holding discussions with the Company over what we thought was going to be a return to work April 7 and 8 and topics focused on how to ensure the workplace was safe and ensure social distancing happens in all work areas. Work place sanitization was thoroughly discussed, as well.  Additionally, it was very important to ensure that those who needed to be away from the workplace longer due to high risk and other COVID issues had opportunities for unemployment insurance.

Mid-day, we were then notified by Boeing that they were going to extend the suspended operations in Washington state. However, they have stated this time would be unpaid.

We will be shifting our efforts to effects bargaining. We will focus on the impacts of this decision in regard to areas of concern that include wages, health care, date of return, process to volunteer for available essential work, PPE and social distancing when operations restart, and other safety requirements associated with the Governor’s Stay Home/Stay Safe order, etc. However, in the meantime, we encourage our members to file for unemployment insurance with the state. (Click here for pdf for how to file for unemployment insurance. We hope to provide more specific instructions on unemployment shortly.)

At this point, Boeing has not indicated a return date as they evaluate the COVID outbreak and intends the suspension of operations to be unpaid. Below is what Boeing announced:

Puget Sound area and Moses Lake Operations (posted April 5, 2020)

Due to the company's continuing focus on the health and safety of its employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain, and additional recommendations from government health authorities, Boeing is extending the temporary suspension of operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice.

Boeing will continue to listen to our 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, responsible and orderly return to operations. Employees who can work from home should continue to do so. Volunteers supporting essential work will continue to report to their assigned shifts.”

Through our discussion with the Company, Boeing is going to engage a small number of our members during this time to manufacture cloth masks. These cloth masks are to be used by our members in the workplace when work resumes in areas where N95 masks aren’t required. Boeing will reach out to specific members to perform this type of work in their areas. Boeing will also utilize 3D printers in Puget Sound to make face shields for the health care industry.

We are in direct contact with the Employment Security Department in order to provide details on unemployment insurance. We have also been in contact with the State Labor & Industries, Department of Health and Safety in regard to working conditions within Boeing facilities.

Our union continues to work hard to provide protections and options for our members during this very stressful time. Please stay tuned and look for further updates throughout the week.

751 Member Communications

IAM District 751
9125 15th Pl. S.
Seattle, WA 98108

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