Boeing Workers Reject Contract, Vote to Strike

From Times Wire Services

More than 19,000 workers represented by Boeing Co.'s biggest union rejected a proposed three-year contract Thursday night and voted to go on strike at midnight.

Leaders of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, who had recommended that workers reject the pact, said they were striking mainly over health benefits and job security issues.

The union said that 19,905 members, or 76% of the 26,304 votes cast, voted to reject the proposal, and then 20,553 voted to strike.

"Boeing workers are angry that the company keeps winning orders for new airplanes while sending more and more jobs overseas," said the union's lead negotiator, Bob Gregory. "Our members are tired of seeing their jobs destroyed and they want a contract that addresses job security."

The union is unhappy with the company's offer because it increases health care deductibles and doesn't increase wages enough. The union also wants Boeing to farm out less work abroad.

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