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Boeing Machinists to take Strike Authorization Vote

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis – Boeing and leaders of its three thousand-member union at the Integrated Defense Systems division in St. Louis have begun negotiating a new contract.

As part of that process, members of the International Machinists and Aerospace Workers will take a strike authorization vote Saturday.

District 37 president Rick Smith says the vote is just a procedural move. He says contract negotiations will likely focus on job security, retiree benefits and health care costs.

"The company has talked to us somewhat about, you know, they foresee healthcare continuing on the rise and they may want us to share more in the cost of those, you know, health benefits," Smith said.

A spokeswoman for Boeing says the company is confident it can reach a fair and balanced contract with the union. The current pact expires May 23rd.