Boeing Machinists Strike Continues Cautiously In Company's Success

10/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The machinists' union walkout against the Boeing Company does not appear to fit the usual script for a modern-day labor showdown.

In struggling industries like automobiles and airlines, the bargaining power of unions has been limited by the weak positions of the employers they are negotiating with -- if labor officials push too hard, they risk damaging further the same companies they rely on for jobs.

By contrast, Boeing is strong. It earned a record $4.1 billion in 2007, and its books are full for years to come with orders for hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of planes from customers around the world.

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