More than 18,000 Boeing Machinists Strike Over New Contract
Union leaders said the contract offer fell woefully short on top issues including pension payments and increased health care costs. District Lodge 751 is negotiating for employees in all three states, although some terms differ based on location.
The union last went on strike in 1995, when workers walked out for 69 days.
Workers represented in the talks now receive an average of $59,000 a year. The company had said they would earn about $62,500 a year by the end of the new contract, excluding overtime and other extra payouts.
The strike vote announcement was met by a chorus of cheers, hugs and backslapping by hundreds of workers gathered at the union's hall in south Seattle.
Larry Weckhorst, a 16-year Boeing veteran who lives in SeaTac, said he knew the strike was coming because "the mood was just different from three years ago" when the Machinists accepted what they considered a sub-par contract because of the airline industry's dismal state after the 2001 attacks.
Now "the production rates are going up, the stock price is going up," the 47-year-old said, adding, "That pension (issue) is huge. Look at how old our work force is."
I haven't blogged this yet, but it's absolutely huge in its consequences. Any Boeing workers or Wichitans want to weigh in on how things stand?