These days, most aerospace engineers would be happy just to keep their jobs. But Boeing's 17,000 unionized engineers and technicians in Seattle are playing hardball. Some 70% voted to reject the three-year contract union leaders negotiated with Boeing and authorized a strike. Management isn't budging from its offer. Since many of Boeing's customers want to delay plane deliveries, it could probably weather a strike. The engineers, by contrast, have no strike fund.

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