Boeing strike postponed but staff could still walk

Posted on 4 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

Strike action planned by workers at US aerospace giant Boeing planned for today has been postponed for 48 hours until existing contracts are brought to a close.

The staff feel a new salary offer of $34,000 (£18,600), on average, with an 11 per cent rise over three years, is inadequate and will now begin industrial action on Saturday if no further resolution is made.

The strike would have began today after 87 per cent of the workforce voted in favour of it yesterday (Wednesday) but a two-day extension to existing contracts that were due to end at midnight (pacific time) was agreed before that deadline by Washington State governor Chris Gregoire who is mediating between the firm and the unions.

It is feared that if the 27,000 workers who are set to up tools indeed do so then production of the aviation firm’s latest headline venture, the Dreamliner 787, will be seriously hindered. Boeing is reportedly 3,400 models behind in their production schedule across all its planes.

The Dreamliner plane is set for its maiden flight by the end of this year and bosses hope to have the first ones in commercial use in the second half of 2009.