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UAW strikes Boeing plant in Long Beach

Picketing at the Boeing Long Beach facility
Picketing at the Boeing Long Beach facility
AP Photo: Damian Dovarganes

The UAW called 1700 employees out on strike at Boeing's facility in Long Beach on Tuesday.  Strikers began walking the picket lines shortly after midnight.  Negotiating teams from both sides met earlier in the day but failed to reach agreement on changes to employee contributions to health benefits, which appears to be the primary issue in the dispute.

Last week, the company's best and final offer was rejected in a membership vote.  The company offered average wage increases of 3.4% over the term of the contract, plus an increase in pension benefits.  The main sticking point is the company's desire to increase the employee contribution for health benefit premiums to 15%, which would be a 3% increase.  The increase would not take effect until 2014, however.  The company also proposed eliminating a medicare supplement plan for retirees. 

UAW would not agree to any increase in health contributions or elimination of the supplemental plan for retirees, and was demanding a slightly higher pension increase.  The union's bargaining approach seems more suited for different economic times, particularly since the sole product of the facility, the C-17 transport plane, has been on the chopping block for some time.  The strike could very well be the last straw, leading to cancellation of the C-17 program and closure of the facility. 

It is difficult to determine the rationale behind this strike, particularly when the threat to the job security of the members is so apparent and the company's offer is relatively benign, given the more severe cutbacks experienced by many employees over the past year.


  • DogFriedRice 5 years ago

    Are these guys dumb or what? Nobody wants the planes, and now they go on strike instead of thanking their lucky star that they still have jobs.

  • Ed 4 years ago

    Look up who Erick Becker is. His "other job" American Consulting Group lists UNION BUSTING as one of their specialities. HE IS NOT TELLING YOU THE ENTIRE STORY.

    As of Jan 20th 2011 the Boeing Co. has laid off some 1100 Southern California workers. Maybe the union saw this coming which is why they refused Boeing's "best offer".

  • willichan 5 years ago

    Screw the union. Close the plant.

  • fed-up 5 years ago

    screw those sorry sacks of fecal matter!! CLOSE THE PLANT!!

  • LBC 5 years ago

    shut it down!

  • LazyUnion 5 years ago

    fastest union worker is a striking one.

  • LazyUnion 5 years ago

    No sympathy from the public... Millions would jump at the opportunity to make 80K+ for a job that requires the skill-set of a high school graduate.

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