Gibson temporarily ceases US operations due to coronavirus outbreak
Gibson has announced the temporary closure of its facilities in the US in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday 22 March, John Cooper, Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee – where Gibson is based – announced a “Safer At Home Order”, which requests that all non-essential businesses of the Nashville area close for a 14-day period. According to a statement by Gibson, its facilities have been shut since Friday (20 March) and will remain closed “until further notice”. The company also says it has preemptively shut down operations at its Bozeman, Montana facility, despite no formal request to do so.
In supporting staff who will be affected by these measures, Gibson will provide a $1,000 support payment for hourly workers. Various communication platforms have also been set up for employees, and its headquarters staff will resume working remotely.
In the statement, Gibson CEO James ‘JC’ Curleigh said: “At the early stages of this unfortunate and ever-evolving situation, we took a proactive approach to monitoring and prioritising the health and safety of our entire team around the world. I am proud of the way our teams have responded and we now shift our focus to supporting each other to get through this together.”
To date, no cases of the coronavirus have been recorded within Gibson’s employee base. The company states that it will “continue to monitor and assess the situation and will keep the extended partnership base of employees, dealers, suppliers and others informed accordingly”.
In other Gibson-related news, the industry stalwart was recently involved in a lawsuit with Kalamazoo-based Heritage Guitars. The latter is seeking “declaratory and injunctive relief” to prevent Gibson from making further legal threats over trademark infringement. Gibson has since issued a formal response, saying it was “disappointed that Heritage and its owners felt it necessary to file a complaint against Gibson.”
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