Boeing production to resume as workers back new contract

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Machinists at Boeing are set to begin returning to work today after ratifying a new four-year agreement, ending a 57-day strike at the airframer.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union says its members voted 74% in favour of the contract, tentatively agreed late last month.

This agreement covers 27,000 members of the IAM union at Boeing's plants in Washington, Kansas, Oregon and California.

Workers began striking on 6 September, halting production at the US manufacturer. Although machinists will have until 10 November to return, IAM says some workers will start resuming shifts today.

"Your solidarity brought Boeing back to the table and made this company address your issues," says IAM District 751 president Tom Wroblewski, adding that the union has secured "important and substantial" improvements over Boeing's offer prior to the strike.

IAM says it has obtained job-security benefits, salary and pension increases, and concessions on medical costs.

Boeing says the four-year agreement runs for a longer term than the contracts it has previously typically negotiated with the union, stating that this will "add to the long-term stability" for the company.

"This new contract addresses the union's job-security issues while enabling Boeing to retain the flexibility needed to run the business," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Scott Carson.