Boeing And Machinists To Resume Talks

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The month-long strike has already further delayed the 787 Dreamliner, is starting to affect airlines' expansion plans, is disrupting the business of metal makers around the world and may (according to some analysts) last through December, but both the company and the Machinists Union have agreed to resume talks. The two sides continue to be at odds over pay, benefits and the use of outside suppliers. No firm dates have been set, but the two sides have agreed to "pursue talks through the federal mediator," according to a statement on the company's Web site. The union's Web site added that "we are working out the details of the return to the table." Boeing is expected to lose about $100 million per day in revenue while its production facilities remain closed. The company's last firm offer, a three-year contract, was rejected followed by a worker walk-out (that consists of 27,000 employees) Sept. 6. Boeing's third quarter deliveries of 84 aircraft were down 23 percent from 2007, well below the pre-strike forecast of 119 aircraft. The associated drop in revenue for Boeing's commercial plane unit is likely also close to 23 percent. On the demand side of the equation, airlines will feel the effects of the 21 aircraft Boeing is no longer building every two weeks.