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Boeing to halt 737 Max production in January, but denies layoffs

The company said no layoffs or furlough are expected at this time. Boeing provides an estimated 12,000 jobs in Renton.

Boeing announced it will temporarily halt production of the 737 Max in January as the fleet remains grounded.

"We have decided to prioritize the delivery of stored aircraft and temporarily suspend production on the 737 program beginning next month," Boeing said in a statement released Monday.

The company said no layoffs or furlough were expected at this time.

"It is our plan that affected employees will continue 737-related work, or be temporarily assigned to other teams in Puget Sound," the statement read.

Boeing provides an estimated 12,000 jobs in Renton. It is the city's largest employer with an economy that orbits around the 737.

Before the news was confirmed by Boeing, Renton Mayor Denis Law said, “any suspension in production will impact local employees, which is very unfortunate, especially during the holiday season."

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Governor Jay Inslee said Monday afternoon that his administration had begun meeting with the company in July to discuss a potential plant shutdown and develop a plan to help workers, if necessary. 

“I hope that Boeing can quickly resolve its safety issues with the 737 MAX so they can start selling them around the world. We are seeing real life impacts to families and communities around Washington state as a result of this serious issue," Gov. Inslee said in a statement. 

Boeing's troubled 737 Max airplanes won't be cleared for flight until 2020 at the earliest, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration said on December 11. 

FAA chief Steve Dickson told CNBC there are still "about 10 or 11 milestones left to complete" as part of the process to get the planes re-certified. 

The Max has been grounded internationally since March after two crashes that killed 346 people. The company is still working on fixes to the jet.  

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