Strike Ends at Boeings Long Beach Assembly Plant

New labor contract clears way for C-17 production to resume

United Aerospace Workers mechanics at Boeing Co.’s Long Beach, CA, assembly plant have ratified a new labor contract and returned to work, ending a strike that idled production of C-17 military cargo jets for one month.

Negotiations between Boeing and the union broke off on May 11. The contract proposal, achieved with the help of a federal negotiator, was approved on June 9 in a decisive vote, 822-544.

"The new contract recognizes our employees' ongoing contributions to our success while enhancing the company's ability to increase our competitiveness and keep the C-17 airlifter affordable so that we can win new work and extend the life of the production line in Long Beach," according to Boeing in a statement.

The new contract runs for five years. It delivers a lump-sum payment to workers in the first year and a general, 3% wage increase in the second and fourth year, according to Boeing.

Monthly pension benefits will increase for workers who retire on or before September 1, from $70 to $81/month for each year of service.

Employees’ medical contribution will increase from 12% to 13% for all plans beginning in 2014. For the PPO plus option, the employee contribution increases from 4% to 5%.

Also, the new contract establishes a prescription management program for employees.

C-17 production is expected to resume at Long Beach, but Boeing recently said it would reduce its annual output of the planes from 16 to 10 per year, by mid-2011.

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