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Bell Helicopter Line Workers on Strike

 - June 16, 2009, 6:47 AM

Manufacturing workers at Bell Helicopter near Fort Worth, Texas, went on strike Monday for the first time in more than two decades in part to protect the jobs of 44 janitors whose work the company wants to outsource. On the Web site for United Auto Workers Local 218, the union said its members would remain on strike until at least June 21. The workers, who produce components for Bell helicopters, say they are also upset by proposed increases in medical costs. They voted 1,177 to 680 on Sunday to reject a three-year contract offer from Bell. The contract does not cover workers at Bell’s main manufacturing factories in Fort Worth and Mirabel, Quebec.