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Boeing machinists reject contract, vote to strike

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. machinists voted Thursday to strike as union members overwhelmingly rejected a three-year contract proposal their leaders had deemed "insulting."

Union members voted 86 percent in favor of a strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time today. Under union rules, the contract would have been automatically ratified — and workers would have stayed on the job — unless two-thirds of the union members voted to strike.

The strike will affect about 18,400 machinists who assemble Boeing's commercial airplanes and some key components in the Seattle area, Gresham, Ore., and Wichita, Kan.

Company officials said earlier in the week that a strike would be devastating, forcing the company to slowly shut down commercial airplane production.