On April 10, Boeing, a leading aircraft manufacturer, announced that it is recalling 2,500 of its employees out of its almost 30,000 workforce, Seatle Times reports. These individuals have been home since the company closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The recall has become essential as the company embarks on “limited operations”. The resuming workers will work at Boeing sites in Renton and Everett.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the narrowly limited operations scheduled to start Monday 13 April, the company says it will provide all the workers with PPEs. Boeing will also ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to in dining and other areas where they have to congregate.
Other rules include a limited number of workers per shuttle bus at the sites and engagement in virtual meetings. The company also encourages some of the employees to work from home if they can.
Boeing confirmed that some other critical labs and support teams, apart from those working directly on the company’s defense program, will also be present to serve other customers.
18 more P-8As in $1.6 billion deal
The recall of the 2,500 workers might probably be related to an order by the American Navy for Boeing to build 18 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and surveillance planes. This venture forms part of a $1.6 billion deal from the navy in the purchase of 108 of the P-8As models from Boeing.
According to the details of the order, Boeing should deliver all these planes by October 2023. The company will be working to deliver this order in Seattle; Huntington Beach and El Segundo, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Dallas.
The new P-8A fleet will replace the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop aircraft. This aircraft version will operate as a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800 single-aisle passenger jetliner. It is modified for long-range ocean missions including surveillance, maritime patrol, and anti-submarine warfare.
A relief for workers or increasing risk of COVID-19?
Before Boeing suspended its operations indefinitely to curb the spread of COVID-19, some employees who were bothered by the positive status of their colleagues had complained about their safety at work.
But, the stay-at-home order has rendered most of the workers idle. Some have either registered for unemployment or sick leave. Hence, the recall may be much appreciated by some of them.
On the other hand, some are worried that this recall may lead to further exposure of the staff to the virus.