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    :: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 ::

    Aerospace crunch: Labor shortage chokes growth plans By Steve Wilhelm, Puget Sound Business Journal
    Out of the 9,137 members of the Machinists Local 751 that Boeing has laid off in the Puget Sound area, just 228 are qualified to run CNC machines, said union spokesperson Connie Kelliher. The balance include a number of blue-collar trades including plumbers, electricians, assemblers, even forklift drivers.

    The hot demand for skilled machinists outside The Boeing Co. is galling for Mark Blondin, president of Local 751, the union that represents most Boeing tradespeople. Boeing has been trimming away its own base of CNC operators at its Auburn facility as it shifts ongoing production of machined parts to its suppliers. This reflects a company shift to a policy of retaining just enough machinists to fill in production gaps and to develop new technologies.
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