Update: Reuters has since reported that a worker from Boeing's Everett plant has died from coronavirus.
Additional Update: Reuters now reports that Boeing will halt production at its Puget Sound area plants beginning March 25th.
Washington state has been at the epicenter of the US outbreak of COVID-19, but not everyone is sheltering-in-place.
The Seattle Times is reporting growing unrest amongst Boeing factory workers at the company’s Everett, Washington facility, just outside of Seattle. That’s because jet assembly is reportedly still underway, despite 14 Puget Sound area Boeing workers having tested positive for the virus. The Times says most of them work in the Everett compound.
Workers, most of whom have chosen to remain anonymous, describe an environment where up to a thousand workers could be packed side-by-side assembling wire bundles for an airplane. They cite tight quarters for clocking out and exiting, tools being passed around, and spotty sanitizing of work stations. They even say that bathrooms have been out of hand sanitizer and paper towels.
One worker said that she was concerned that if this continues, “Boeing is going to have a very large outbreak that this state will have a hard time containing.”
And despite the fact that the campus is 1,000 acres and contains around 200 seperate buildings, workplace attendance seems to be dwindling. Unfortunately for those who need the paycheck, they feel their hands are tied. According to the Seattle Times sources, if workers don’t feel safe, they’ve been instructed to use vacation or personal time, or go unpaid.