Workers represented by Boeing's largest union have voted to strike after rejecting a contract offer but delayed walking off the job for 48 hours to allow more talks, the union said. The International Association of Machinists said on Sept. 3 that 80% of its membership rejected the company's contract offer and 87% voted to strike.
The union, based mainly in Seattle, said "an overwhelming majority voted to strike because Boeing did not meet your expectations. You have spoken loud and clear."
With Washington state's governor Chris Gregoire and federal mediators trying to broker a deal, the union said it had accepted a proposal for more negotiations with Boeing's leadership and postponed the strike by 48 hours. "The union agreed to give this company 48 hours to improve their offer and come up with one that will be acceptable to this membership," it said.
The union said it wanted the company to address job security, medical benefits, wages and pension plans.
A strike of the roughly 25,000 workers in the union would be a serious blow to the aviation giant, reportedly costing the firm an estimated $120 million a day.
Boeing says its latest contract offer would add about $34,000 in compensation for the average union member over a three-year period. Workers would also receive an 11% wage increase as well as a $2,500 bonus, U.S. media reported.