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McDonnell Douglas workers strike

McDonnell Douglas workers strike

Feb. 11, 1975: Machinist union members picket at the McDonnell Douglas plant in Torrance.

In February 1975, about 7,000 workers at McDonnell Douglas plants in Southern California walked out on strike, demanding better pay and benefits. It didn’t go well.

For two months, the members of the International Assn. of Machinists stayed away from their jobs helping make planes and rockets. The strike affected McDonnell Douglas plants in Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, Palmdale and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

By April 1975, the union strike fund, which had provided $40 a week to strikers, was nearly exhausted and the company had barely budged in negotiations. It was offering a proposal that was just one cent per hour greater than had been offered before the strike.

When union members gathered April 12, 1975, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena to consider the proposal, opponents to the deal carried signs, saying “Nine Weeks for One Cent? Vote No!” But in the end, the proposal won support by a 2-1 margin, and the workers returned to their jobs.


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