A strike is underway by United Aerospace Workers mechanics at Boeing Co.’s Long Beach, CA, assembly plant, and has led the company to suspend production for C-17 military cargo jets. About 3,000 other, non-union workers continue on the job there, but the assembly operation has been halted indefinitely.
A Boeing spokeswoman said that other operations supporting C-17 production are not affected, and that the program operates with long lead times, so the other plants are not yet affected by the strike.
Negotiations toward a new four-year contract for the Long Beach UAW workers came to an impasse about one week ago. The union wants Boeing to offer a more generous pension program, and to lower employee health insurance plan contribution costs.
Boeing stated it is "optimistic" that it a contract agreement will be reached soon, and maintains that its offer of wage increases, pension benefit increases, and a stable health insurance program represents "a very competitive contract" that will allow it to continue producing the C-17 beyond the term of the current order book.
"This offer recognizes employees for their ongoing contributions and enhances the company's ability to continue producing the C-17," Boeing stated.