Sides Dig In Despite Boeing Strike Costs

Stoppage in week 4; price tag nears $1.3B for aircraft giant
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 1:35 PM CDT
Boeing 787 jets are lined-up nose to tail as they slowly move to the front of the assembly line in Everett, Wash.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Machinists employed by Boeing have been on strike for more than 3 weeks, with no end in sight; analysts say if the stoppage reaches a month, it could cost the aircraft maker $1.3 billion, the Seattle Times reports. The union sees its position as good, given Boeing’s huge backlog of orders, but a downturn in the airline industry could put workers on shaky ground.

With airlines planning for a winter slowdown, even some whose orders have been delayed by the strike are in no hurry to accept delivery. And the union’s strong front is being met head-on by Boeing, which maintains that outsourcing and lower labor costs enable it to “react nimbly” to a market in flux.