Boeing union says it could strike next week

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ST. LOUIS -- Boeing workers in St. Louis said they could walk out in as little as one week under a strike notice they plan to deliver to the company.

The workers voted down Boeing's last offer Sunday. The notice says they could strike as soon as Wednesday.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents about 2,500 Boeing workers in St. Louis.

The union said Boeing has not made any attempt to schedule negotiations after workers rejected the company offer. A Boeing spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.

Boeing's four-and-a-half year proposal included a $5,000 lump-sum payment and 3 percent raises in future years but also would increase health care costs for workers.

Union spokesman Tom Pinski said Friday the biggest problem with the Boeing offer is that workers hired after January 2012 would be in a retirement plan based on company contributions instead of a traditional pension.

"The increased health care cost would make a wash of any general wage increases that they would get," he said.

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