Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Sunday, 2 November 2008

Boeing machinists return to work

Boeing worker at picket in Seattle on 3 September
Boeing's workers have now voted to end their eight-week strike

Machinists at the US aircraft maker Boeing have voted to end their long-running strike and to return to work.

Union members voted by 74% in favour of a four-year deal, and will now start work again from this Sunday.

The dispute centred on pay and job cuts. The union said more than 5,000 workers' jobs would now be protected.

The eight-week strike cost Boeing an estimated $100m (61.8m) a day in lost income, and has delayed delivery of its long-awaited 787 airliner.

The striking machinists have lost about $7,000 each in wages since the dispute began.

Profits fall

The dispute at Boeing - the longest since 1995 - came amid rising demand for the company's commercial jets, and has swollen the firm's backlog of orders to a record $349bn.

Boeing has said it hopes it will take less than two months to return to its previous production levels.

"This contract gives the workers at Boeing an opportunity to share in the extraordinary success this company has achieved over the past several years," said Mark Blondin, the union's chief negotiator.

The union - the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - said the contract would protect over 5,000 factory jobs, and would prevent some jobs from being out-sourced.

"We're looking forward to having our team back together to resume the work of building airplanes for our customers," said Scott Carson, the president of Boeing Commercial Airlines.

Last week Boeing announced a 38% fall in its net profits for the third quarter, due to the strike and previously announced delays to production of its 787 airliner.



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