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Machinists Strike Against Boeing in Washington, Oregon, Kansas

Nearly 27,000 machinists have gone on strike against aerospace giant Boeing Company, a move that could have a major impact on worldwide aircraft production and influence other related industries. A company statement issued on the day the strike began, September 5th, said that its plants - mainly in Washington, Oregon, and Kansas - would remain open but that production lines in Everett and Renton, Washington, will stop assembly. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union representing the machinists, reports that the absense of job security and the outsourcing of jobs in production of the company's 787 Dreamliner jet are the key issues in calling the strike. Forbes reports that a prolonged strike would result in financial losses for Boeing of up to $3 billion per month if deliveries of commercial planes are stopped. The 787 Dreamliner has already seen production delays due to problems with suppliers, and the strike will create additional wait time - possibly as long as five years - for airlines that have ordered the jet. Major suppliers of Boeing - including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Goodrich - face inventory pile-ups and potential layoffs. The Wall Street Journal quotes a union leader as saying that the work force is angry enough at Boeing that they may be willing to stay on strike for the remainder of the year.

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