Gibson has temporarily closed its U.S. operations in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and all Gibson factory workers have been given a $1,000 support payment to tide them over until production recommences.
The legendary guitar and instrument company made the announcement in a press release yesterday evening, following Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s “Safer At Home” order, which calls on all non-essential businesses to close for 14 days in an effort to curb the coronavirus’s spread. Gibson’s factories had been operating until last Friday, per the press release, during which time employees implemented a number of sanitization measures.
No Gibson employee has come down with COVID-19, but the company’s Nashville-based facilities will remain closed “until further notice,” depending upon the effectiveness of Mayor Cooper’s order and the next two weeks’ coronavirus developments.
Additionally, Gibson executives will work remotely, and the company has closed its Bozeman, Montana, facility as a preventative measure, though neither Bozeman nor Montana government officials have called on non-essential businesses to close down.
In terms of employee benefits, Gibson provided all “hourly factory workers” with a $1,000 check to help them through this trying time, and Gibson team members will be able to stay up to date with company-wide developments by phoning Gibson DIAL (Direct Information Advisory Line).
Speaking of the decision to halt U.S. operations and support employees, Gibson CEO James “JC” Curleigh said, “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.”
By proactively closing and providing its workers with bonuses, Gibson has become the latest music industry mainstay to offer invaluable support during what can best be described as an immensely difficult period. Last week, the Recording Academy and MusiCares donated $2 million to COVID-19 relief, and over the weekend, Rihanna and her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, pledged $5 million to help medical professionals and coronavirus sufferers.
Doctors have diagnosed approximately 340,000 worldwide COVID-19 cases. More than 15,000 have perished as a result of the infection, which originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.