Boeing, Union Strike Talks at ‘Standstill’

By Staff Report

Sep. 25, 2008

Talks between Boeing Co. and its 27,000 striking machinists are “at a standstill,” the U.S. aircraft maker’s CEO said Wednesday, September 24.

“We’re at a standstill now,” said Jim McNerney. “We’re unable to find the common ground we need to find to have the discussion we need to have to solve the problem.”

The workers are set to get their first weekly strike-pay check of $150 on Saturday, September 27. That will be the 22nd day of the strike that began Sept. 6, over machinists’ concerns that more of their work might be outsourced. The most recent machinists strike, in 2005, lasted 24 days; the one before that, in 1995, lasted 69 days.

The current strike, involving electricians, mechanics, painters and other hourly workers, has shut down production of Boeing jetliners, including the new 787, which was already delayed nearly two years. Boeing usually delivers more than 40 planes a month.

Analysts estimate that Boeing is missing about $100 million in revenue per day during the strike.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents about 25,000 Boeing production workers in the Puget Sound area; 1,500 in the Portland, Ore., area; and about 750 in Wichita, Kan.

Filed by staff of Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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