Aeronautical Machinists Union strikes Boeing on April 22, 1948.

  • By Ross Reider
  • Posted 9/11/2001
  • Essay 3553
On April 22, 1948, the Aeronautical Machinists Union, IAM District Lodge 751, begins a long and bitter strike against the Boeing Company. Machinists will return to work on September 13, 1948, without a contract victory, but they soundly defeat the competing Teamsters Union in a subsequent federally supervised jurisdiction election.

For the Machinists, the issues were preserving longstanding seniority rules that the company wanted to scrap, and achieving a 10 cent per hour raise for all categories of labor. The strike was the first labor major test of new Boeing president William Allen and came amid major post-war layoffs in the defense industry.

The strike was complicated by the interference of another union, Dave Beck's Teamsters, which actively collaborated with Boeing and attempted to recruit IAM members. On September 13, 1948, the Machinists returned to work without a contract victory, but they soundly defeated the Teamsters in the subsequent federally supervised election to determine which union had jurisdiction over Boeing machinists and allied workers.

Sources: Blood On the Water: A History of District Lodge 751, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Seattle: District Lodge 751, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, ca. 1989), 95-112, 113-148; Renton Chronicle, September 1, 1949, p. 2; Ibid., October 20, 1949, Sec 2, pp. 3, 4; Ibid., October 27, 1949, Sec 2, pp. 2, 4; Tom Tippett, "History of District Lodge 751, 1935-1963," typeset proof in possession of Ross Rieder, Seattle.

Related Topics:   Aviation | Business | Labor

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