Boeing Machinists Strike of 2008

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A strike by about 27,000 machinists at Boeing over outsourcing, job security, pay, and benefits began September 7, 2008.[1] [2] [3]

The union, International Association of Machinists, and Boeing appeared unwilling to compromise to settle the strike. The company had 3,700 jets on back order, which union members hoped would put pressure on Boeing to end the strike.[4]

In late October, 2008, a tentative deal was reached between Boeing and the union, in which Boeing made a number of concessions:[5]

  • Limits on outsourcing of Boeing work to external vendors, and job protection for some 5,000 workers in parts delivery and facilities maintenance.
  • Wage increases of 5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second and third years, and 4 percent in the final year.
  • A lump sum bonus of 10 percent of the previous year's wages or $5,000, whichever is greater, plus $1,500 in lump sum payments in the second and third years.
  • Elimination of language that would have hurt retiree medical benefits.
  • Elimination of earlier proposals of takeaways and cost shifting in medical benefits.
  • Benefits revert to 2005 levels, meaning the medical cost structure and benefits remain the same through 2012.
  • Pension increases by the end of the 4-year contract to $83 per month per year of service.

Boeing told SPEEA engineers that the company planned less outsourcing on future airplanes, including the next 787 Dreamliner model.[6]

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, members of the union ratified the contract, ending the eight-week strike. The new contract was approved by 74 percent of those voting in favor. This was the longest strike against Boeing by this union since 1995, and the fourth in twenty years. The strike cost the union members an average of $7000.00 in base pay and cost the company $100 million per day in revenue and penalties with a postponement of the delivery of aircraft. Boeing has a $350 billion backlog.[7]


  1. ^ Gates, Dominic (2008-09-29). "Simmering Boeing strike scorching both sides". The Seattle Times. Three weeks into the Machinists strike at Boeing, the company and union appear determined not to blink. The strike is shaping up to be long and damaging. A one-month stoppage could cost Boeing around $1.3 billion in profits that won't be recouped for years. 
  2. ^ Klass, Tim (2008-10-14). "Boeing strike likely to run into November at least". Associated Press. 
  3. ^ Tahmincioglu, Eve (2008-09-10). "Union says Boeing strike is about contractors". MSNBC. Aerospace giant wants to maintain freedom to use contingent workers 
  4. ^ "Strike at Boeing appears stagnant". United Press International. 2008-09-29. 
  5. ^ Mcmillin, Molly (2008-10-30). "Boeing Machinists share details of contract offer". The Wichita Eagle. 
  6. ^ Gates, Dominic (2008-10-30). "Boeing exec vows more 787 design work to stay in-house". The Seattle Times. 
  7. ^ "Machinists Back Contract With Boeing; 8-Week Strike Ends". The Associated Press. 2008-11-02.