"We won! " That was the shout coming from a couple hundred enthusiastic Machinists at the Seattle union hall last night to celebrate the...

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“We won!”

That was the shout coming from a couple hundred enthusiastic Machinists at the Seattle union hall last night to celebrate the ratification of a new three-year contract with Boeing and the end of a strike that began Sept. 2.

District President Mark Blondin beamed as he strode along a greeting line on his way to announce the membership’s 80 percent approval of the deal he’d negotiated. He exchanged handshakes, high-fives and big hugs.

Although Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Alan Mulally has said the agreement will cost Boeing no more than its previous offer, union members clearly believed they had gained, chanting, “Who’s got the power? We’ve got the power. Union power.”

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The first workers were due to return to the factories late last night for the third shift. Machinists who’ve taken other jobs or are out of town have up to two weeks to return.

The deal gives them a 17 percent pension increase and holds steady their health-care contributions. They will receive more than $11,000 on average in lump-sum payments over the three years, but no general wage increase.