Boeing, union negotiators to meet; hope to avert strike at Long Beach plant

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Negotiators from Boeing and the United Aerospace Workers union are scheduled to meet Monday afternoon in Pico Rivera. Both sides want to avert a strike at Boeing’s C-17 plant in Long Beach.

Boeing is one of the largest private employers in Long Beach. Its C-17 plant employs 5,000 people. The labor contract of about 1,700 assembly line workers expired last week.

After weeks of intense negotiations, the company made what it called its best and final offer for a new contract, but 80 percent of local union members voted to reject it.

The offer contained pay increases, but its provisions on pensions and medical costs didn’t fly with the union. The members of the United Aerospace Workers Local 148 have already approved a strike, if necessary. They’re staying on the job for now, but they’ve staged some raucous pickets and rallies in their off-hours.

Boeing’s negotiators say they’ve contacted a federal mediator in hopes that an impartial party might bring the opposing sides closer together.

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