Friday, September 12, 2008

Boeing Machinists Vote to Strike


On Saturday, September 5th, 27,000 Boeing employees, members of the International Association of Machinists, (IAM) went on strike. With bad blood between the negotiating parties, federal mediators were not able to help avert a strike.

Boeing is a major employer of machinists and it is estimated the strike will cost Boeing a $100 million per day.

In May 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median hourly wage-and-salary earnings of machinists were $16.71 per hour. Machinists in aerospace product and parts manufacturing had a median salary of $18.46.

The number of machinists in the US has declined as the manufacturing sector continues to lose jobs to China and India. In 2006 there were 397 000 machinists in the United States and projections show a decline of about 12,000 jobs by 2016. Depending on the length of the Boeing strike, this attrition could be accelerated.

Despite the decline in this profession, there are still opportunities for extremely skilled machinists. Explore your options carefully if you are considering specialized vocational training in this area.

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