Boeing Strike Drags on After Talks With Union Collapse

Outsourced production remains logjam issue in dispute costing airplane-maker $100M a day
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2008 3:32 PM CDT
Striking Boeing Co. workers staff a picket line today outside the plant where Boeing 737 airplanes are assembled in Renton, Wash.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Talks broke down between Boeing and its machinists’ union yesterday, with no agreement in sight to end the 38-day-old strike, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Negotiations snagged over job security: Boeing has cut labor costs by outsourcing the production of certain parts formerly made by the machinists, and the return of those jobs is a requisite for the union to back any agreement.

“We don't want subcontractors in our workplace setting up parts distribution centers. That's our work,” said the union’s lead negotiator. Boeing says such practices are essential for its survival: “We want to resolve this strike so employees can return to work,” a company statement said, “but we cannot sacrifice our ability to continuously improve productivity and our long-term competitiveness for an agreement.”