Boeing Machinists Strike Settled

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Some 27,000 of Boeing's machinists, who walked off the job on Sept. 6 after contract talks failed to adequately address their interests, should be back at work after an agreement was reached on Oct. 27. The contract doesn't just keep, but increases, pension payments, brings wage increases totaling 15 percent and preserves health-care benefits while addressing the key issue of job security, according to MarketWatch.com. It also adds lump-sum payments for each employee totaling $8,000 per worker over four years ... and, by ending the strike, makes the future of some of Boeing's suppliers more certain. Boeing said in a statement that the new agreement "addresses the union's job-security issues while enabling Boeing to retain the flexibility needed to run the business." The company, which during the strike faced losses estimated at $100 million per day along with production delays, has amassed an order backlog worth $349 billion. It expects production to reach pre-strike efficiency within two months.

Boeing now faces negotiations with 21,000 engineers, scientists, technicians and other members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace whose contract expires on the first day of December. Over the past decade, Boeing has lost 203 days of production to work stoppages, according to a report by the International Herald Tribune.