UPDATE 5-Boeing machinists to strike, as contract talks fail

sábado 6 de septiembre de 2008 05:19 CEST

(Adds comments from Boeing workers, paras 10-12)

By Bill Rigby and Laura Myers

NEW YORK/EVERETT, Washington, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Boeing Co's (BA.N: Cotización) 27,000-strong machinists' union declared it will strike at midnight Pacific time on Friday, as the plane maker failed to improve its contract offer after two days of emergency talks.

"Despite meeting late into the night and throughout the day, continued contract talks with the Boeing Company did not address our issues," Tom Wroblewski, the IAM's Seattle-area president, said in a letter to members. "The strike is on."

The vast majority of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' (IAM) members voted to reject Boeing's "best and final" offer on Wednesday, but postponed a strike for 48 hours to give negotiators more time.

Boeing and IAM teams, along with federal mediators, were meeting at Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N: Cotización) Coronado Springs resort near Orlando, Florida, where the IAM is set to have its convention, held every four years, starting on Sunday.

"Over the past two days, Boeing, the union and the federal mediator worked hard in pursuing ... options that could lead to an agreement. Unfortunately the differences were too great to close," said Scott Carson, the head of Boeing's commercial plane unit, in a statement.

No further talks are scheduled. Both sides said they were waiting for the other to make the first move. Boeing spokesman Tim Healy said the company was "open" to hearing from the IAM.

"If this company wants to talk, they have my number, they can reach me on the picket line," the IAM's Wroblewski in a message to union members.   Continuación...