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Archive for Saturday, October 4, 2008

Plane deliveries falling during strike

October 4, 2008

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— One month after the start of a Machinists union strike, the Boeing Co. reported a nosedive in deliveries of commercial aircraft but still got 10 planes to customers after the walkout.

Chicago-based Boeing reported on Friday that 84 737s, 747s, 767s and 777s were delivered in the third quarter, down from 126 planes in the second quarter and from 109 planes a year ago.

Before the walkout began Sept. 6, Boeing expected to deliver 119 planes in the three months ending Sept. 30, spokesman Todd Blecher said.

Blecher attributed about 30 of the non-deliveries to the strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents about 25,000 electricians, riveters, forklift operators and other hourly workers in and around Seattle, 1,500 in Gresham, Ore., and 750 in Wichita, Kan.

Key issues in the dispute include pay, medical coverage, retirement benefits and job security.

A handful of aircraft, all 777s except for one 767, were not delivered as expected in the third quarter because of continuing problems with a galley supplier, Blecher said. "The supplier still has to catch up," he said.

Boeing's Web site showed, and Blecher confirmed, that 10 planes were delivered between Sept. 6 and Sept. 30 - more than three times the three planes that were delivered during a 24-day Machinists union strike in 2005. Boeing failed to deliver more than two dozen planes on schedule during the earlier strike.

"That's just a function of how many airplanes were out there all finished and waiting either for certification or for a customer to come and get them," he said.

During the same period Boeing logged orders for 37 planes, including 9 767-300ERs by All Nippon Airways and 24 planes by unidentified buyers.

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