Machinists walking the picket line in Renton this morning said they were prepared for the near-term financial toll that a strike could take on their bank accounts.

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Machinists walking the picket line in Renton this morning said they were prepared for the near-term financial toll that a strike could take on their bank accounts.

Rob Hall, a 737 wing line mechanic who turned 41 today, said he is moving this weekend from a three-bedroom apartment to a one-bedroom place, in order to save money. He also wasn’t planning much of a birthday celebration.

“It’s going to strap me,” he said of the strike.

Hall has worked 16 years at Boeing, and went through two previous strikes. He strongly supports the walkout because he considered Boeing’s contract offer inadequate.

“There are a Fortune 500 company trying to snivel like they are poor,” he said. “They couldn’t have possibly thought we were going to buy this contract.”

Another wing line mechanic, 49-year-old Dennis Prellwitz, said that during the 69-day strike in 1995 he’d borrowed $20,000 from his retirement fund. He’s still making payment back to that fund, said the 26-year Boeing employee.

Prellwitz is unhappy with the company’s contract offer and worried about retirement. “I’m very angry and disgusted that I wasted 26 years of my life here,” he said. “I’ve been stressed out for the past 10 years, worrying whether I’d be able to retire here.”Renton worker Mary Vargas, a wing line sealer, said the bonuses included in Boeing’s contract proposal were “nice, but it’s not something we asked for.”

She was more concerned about job security and retirement benfits, said Vargas, 49.

“Instead, they offered us a bunch of carrots, basically bribes. Out in the community, it makes us look like a bunch of spoiled brats, and it’s not like that. We’re just looking out for our future.”

Hired by Boeing in 1996, she was laid off in March 2002, and rehired last November. She still has bills from the two and a half years she was laid off, said Vargas, but she’s willing to strike for a better deal. Citing the compensation package provided to new Boeing Chief Executive James McNerney, she said the company can afford a better contract for the Machinists.

“He got $22 million. If they didn’t have the money, they wouldn’t do that. I just want what’s right,” she said.

Seattle Times reporter Melissa Allison contributed to this report.