Boeing Hits Turbulence With Engineers And 787

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Fresh off a now-resolved machinists strike that cost the company an estimated $100 million per day, and a prediction of layoffs in 2009, Boeing has now hit an impasse with 700 of its engineers and is expected to announce further delays for its 787 Dreamliner. The company has announced a halt to its contract negotiations with its engineers at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where the company produces 767 tankers and E-737 aircraft. Some 20,400 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) have recently resolved contracts, including 20-percent wage increases over four years. But at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where Boeing saw third-quarter profits of $845 million, up 4 percent from 2007, according to SPEEA, a different offer fell short. Fallout from the recent machinists strike is expected to result in an announcement of further delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program. First flight of the aircraft was previously delayed until 2009 and first deliveries aren't expected by industry analysts until 2010 at the earliest. That's already two years late and cancellations, or order deferrals, may be coming.