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Fri, Sep 05, 2008

Strike! Boeing Says Negotiations Have Failed

IAM Workers To Walk Out At 12:01 AM

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 09.05.08 2000 EDT: It's an announcement likely to surprise few in the industry. Late Friday afternoon, Boeing conceded that mediated talks with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers failed, without reaching agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

As a result, nearly 27,000 employees mainly in Washington, Oregon and Kansas will walk off the job early Saturday morning... stalling Boeing's production lines indefinitely.

"Over the past two days, Boeing, the union and the federal mediator worked hard in pursuing good-faith explorations of options that could lead to an agreement. Unfortunately the differences were too great to close," said Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The IAM has called for a strike to begin at 12:01 am Saturday, September 6. Boeing operations in Washington, Oregon and Kansas will remain open, and employees who are not represented by the IAM are expected to report for work as normal.

As ANN reported, on Wednesday IAM workers voted overwhelmingly to reject Boeing's last contract proposal, and to authorize a strike. Workers appeared restless, showing open disdain for the union's agreement to postpone the walkout for 48 hours to give Boeing one last chance to meet their demands.

During the work stoppage, Boeing says it will support its customers and their airplanes in service. The company will continue delivering airplanes that were completed prior to the strike, and will continue providing customers with spare parts.

Boeing will not be able to assemble airplanes during the strike, however... meaning the company will lose out on approximately $100 million for each day the strike drags on, as the company will not be able to collect final payments on delivered planes.

In a statement posted on the IAM's Boeing negotiations Web site, the union remained defiant.

"The strike will commence at one minute after midnight tonight," the union boasts. "This Company disrespected the process, bargained illegally and most of all, disrespected the finest Aerospace workers anywhere on the planet by failing to meet your expectations.

"Despite meeting late into the night and throughout the day, continued contract talks with the Boeing Company did not address our issues. Armed with your strong strike vote, the IAM Negotiating Committee continues to try and convince the Company to meet our members’ demands."

FMI: www.boeing.com/2008negotiations/, www.iam751.org/contract08.htm

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