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.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more