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Boeing union calls for strike.

Byline: Chicago

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Boeing Company's largest labor union has advised its members to reject the company's final contract proposal and go forward with a strike next week that could cost the plane maker $3 billion a month.

"This company is not listening. They know what they need to do to come our way to make this an acceptable contract," said Tom Wroblewski, president of Seattle's District 751 for the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

"Overwhelmingly, our members are opposed to this contract."

IAM members are due to vote on the contract on September 3, when the current three-year deal expires. Without a new pact, the union could vote for its 27,000 IAM-represented employees to strike as early as September 4.

The company can avert the job action by getting more than 34 percent of union members to ratify the offer, because a two- thirds majority of "no" votes is needed to start a strike. If there is no strike, the union would in effect accept Boeing's last offer.

Boeing said it was disappointed by the union's recommendation and encouraged union members to study the company's last offer and vote in their best interest.

"We hope our employees recognize the value of this offer. It is our best and final," said spokesman Tim Healy.

In this round of negotiations, Boeing has taken the unusual step of presenting its proposals on its Web site directly to the workers, a move that circumvents the IAM.- Reuters

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Aug 30, 2008
Words:266
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