In what we suspect will be a frequent and familiar announcement for companies across America, an employee at crony capitalist aerospace giant Boeing’s right-to-work facility in North Charleston, South Carolina has tested positive for the 2019-2020 coronavirus.
Boeing confirmed the news in a statement provided to reporter Tim Renaud of WCBD TV-2 (NBC – Charleston, S.C.), who broke the news early Monday morning.
“We have notified our teammates, are conducting thorough cleaning of the work areas and common spaces, and are following the advice of public health officials,” the company statement noted. “We’ve asked all coworkers of the employee who were in close contact to remain home to self-quarantine and self-monitor. We continue to communicate openly and frequently with our teammates and encourage everyone to exercise caution and take all appropriate health and safety measures, in coordination with their managers.”
Late Sunday, Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times reported that an employee of Boeing’s unionized plant in Everett, Washington had died of complications related to the virus.
According to Gates, the employee “was an inspector who worked on the 787 Dreamliner.”
The news comes at a terrible time for the Chicago-based firm.
Even before the coronavirus ground global air travel to a halt – Boeing was already scaling back production of its 787 Dreamliner in response to reduced demand. Then there is the 737 Max fiasco – in which air safety regulators around the world grounded Boeing’s newest passenger jet following two fatal crashes that left a combined 346 people dead.
In addition to problems with the 737 Max, Dreamliners have also come under scrutiny for various production issues – including problems emanating from the North Charleston plant.
After peaking at $440.62 on March 1, 2019 – right around the time Haley came on board – Boeing’s stock had slid to $330.38 on February 21, 2020. Since then, it has cratered spectacularly – closing at $95.00 on Friday.
That is a staggering 78.4 percent decline from its highest point and a 71.2 percent drop-off within the last month.
Last week, one of Boeing’s most visible board members – former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley – resigned from its board in ostensible protest of its request for a federal bailout.
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