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House Democrats urge Boeing to take federal aid as plants shut down over coronavirus pandemic

Workers assemble a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. House Democrats representing Washington state have urged Boeing to just accept authorities help to assist climate the coronavirus pandemic after the airplane maker’s chief govt balked at the potential of authorities fairness stakes in alternate for the aid.

“Given the severe harm the nation’s aerospace industry and hardworking women and men at the Boeing company are experiencing during this pandemic, we hope you will consider utilizing the economic assistance provided by the CARES Act to safeguard thousands of jobs at Boeing in Washington state and across the country,” stated a letter despatched Monday to Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun from Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat and chairman of the House’s aviation subcommittee, and 6 different lawmakers from the state, the place Boeing employs about 70,000 folks.

Boeing has not but determined whether or not it would apply for federal help and is awaiting steering from the Treasury Department about circumstances and necessities for the aid, based on an individual acquainted with the matter. The $2 trillion help bundle Congress permitted final month consists of billions for ailing companies, together with $17 billion in loans for “businesses critical to maintaining national security,” of which Boeing is anticipated to qualify. Boeing final month stated it was searching for $60 billion in help for itself and its large chain of suppliers. 

Calhoun, in an interview with Fox Business Network final month, stated he opposes the concept of a authorities fairness stake in alternate for federal help. Treasury Department tips for the $17 billion in loans launched final month permit the federal government to obtain a warrant or stake within the borrower.

“All we want is to make sure the credit markets are open for business,” he stated. If the federal government requires an fairness stake, “we just look at all the other options and we got plenty of them.”

Boeing on Sunday introduced it will indefinitely extend a shutdown of airplane production in the Seattle area. On Monday, the corporate stated it will suspend operations at a plant in South Carolina the place it makes 787 Dreamliner planes because the coronavirus continues to unfold, halting Boeing’s manufacturing of economic plane.

More than 130 Boeing workers have examined optimistic for COVID-19, a spokesman stated.

“Given the severe harm the nation’s aerospace industry and hardworking women and men at the Boeing company are experiencing during this pandemic, we hope you will consider utilizing the economic assistance provided by the CARES Act to safeguard thousands of jobs at Boeing in Washington state and across the country,” the lawmakers wrote.

They requested Boeing whether or not it will get rid of layoffs and keep full pay and advantages in addition to common staffing “when medically safe,” in addition to what safeguards it will implement to stop the unfold of viruses sooner or later.

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