Monday, September 15, 2008

27,000 Boeing workers on strike…

Ten days ago, 27,000 workers for the aircraft manufacture Boeing, who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) went out strike in three states – Washington, Oregon, and Kansas. Boeing, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, a company that has been tremendously profitable in recent years, has pushed concessions on its workforce in the past few contracts. In 2005, Boeing workers halted some of these concessions with a month long strike. But the workers have gone without a pay raise for 4 years, and entry level wages for new hires haven’t been raised since 1992. Outsourcing has reduced the amount of union jobs at Boeing, as the company has continued to shift more and more of its production to non-union sub-contractors, some locally, some around the globe. Preventing further outsourcing and protecting job security is a key issue for the union.

In contract negotiations this Summer, the company once again asked for further concessions in health care benefits and wanted the ability to pursue even more outsourcing. The reaction of IAM members was a 99% vote in July to authorize strike action. With the company refusing to budge at the negotiating table, a strike was declared Saturday, September 6th.

It is important for all workers around the country to stand in solidarity with the striking Boeing workers. Their opposition to outsourcing and concessionary contracts is a fight against threats facing most workers in manufacturing. Workers in Chicago have a specific responsibility given Boeing’s corporate HQ is located right here in downtown Chicago. Check back to pilsenprole tomorrow for more on plans for a rally outside Boeing HQ, probably on Friday.

Listen to an interview with IAM spokesperson Connie Kelliher at the link below, to find out more about the issues behind this strike. This interview aired on last night’s episode of Labor Express Radio…
http://www.archive.org/details/IamSpokespersonConnieKelliherOnBoeingStrike

Check out this article on the strike at Counterpunch…
http://www.counterpunch.org/macaray09152008.html


IAM website for more info on strike...




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