Boeing machinists vote to approve labour contract

Business Materials 2 November 2008 08:58 (UTC +04:00)

Boeing's 27,000 assembly workers voted to approve the company's four-year contract offer on Saturday, ending a strike that has stopped production at the plane maker's Seattle area plants for 57 days, Reuters reported.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers walked off the job on September 6 after rejecting Boeing's initial offer, demanding better pay and limits on outsourcing. It was the fourth strike in 20 years by Boeing's biggest union.

Nearly three-quarters of the union members voted to approve the new contract and the strike will officially come to an end at midnight PDT.

"After 57 days of striking, we have gained important and substantial improvements over the Company's offer that was rejected on September 3," said IAM District 751 President Tom Wroblewski in a news release.

Management and the IAM finally reached a compromise on Monday after two months of sporadic talks. Union members will return to work as early as the night shift on Sunday.

Boeing said the first 25 days of the strike cut profit by about $250 million, as it was unable to deliver planes to customers. The whole strike could end up chopping $600 million (371 million pounds) or more from profit, based on information in Boeing's quarterly earnings last week.

The Chicago-based company has said it will update its financial outlook and set a new timetable for its already-delayed 787 Dreamliner once the strike is over.