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Boeing to resume commercial airplane production, bring back 27K workers

Boeing to resume commercial airplane production, bring back 27K workers
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Boeing will resume its commercial airplane production at its Puget Sound-region facilities in Washington state next week, the company announced Thursday. 

The airplane manufacturer will have 27,000 employees return to work after shutting down operations last month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The workers will return for development for the 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs, and the 737 program will restart production of the 737 Max. 

Those working for all of the programs besides the 787 program will return at the earliest on April 20, with most returning by April 21. For the 787 program, employees will come back at the earliest on April 23, with most coming back by April 24.

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Boeing said it was taking “extra precautions and instituted comprehensive procedures” to ensure safety during the coronavirus crisis.

The company will stagger shift times and input visual signs enforcing social distancing.  Boeing will also require face coverings and offer personal protective equipment to those who work in areas where physical distance cannot be maintained.

Boeing will also have wellness checks and voluntary temperature checks at the beginning of each shift, encourage those who are sick to stay home, add more hand-washing stations and cleaning supplies and urge those who can work from  home to do so. 

"The health and safety of our employees, their families and communities is our shared priority," Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal said. "This phased approach ensures we have a reliable supply base, our personal protective equipment is readily available and we have all of the necessary safety measures in place to resume essential work for our customers."

The manufacturer resumed work for defense production operations for about 2,500 people.

Boeing’s announcement comes as several people are calling for the government to be reopened. President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE is set to reveal guidance for a phased reopening of the country’s economy Thursday, leaving decisions up to the governors.

Washington state members of Congress encouraged Boeing to accept relief aid during its suspension of operations.