Contract talks between Boeing Co. and its machinists union ground to a halt on Monday, increasing the likelihood that a damaging strike will drag on for several more weeks. Mark Blondin of the International Association of Machinists said the two sides remained "far apart" on a part of the contract dealing with materials handling, "an issue that could someday cost 2,000 of our members their jobs." Doug Kight, Boeing's chief negotiator, said the company "cannot sacrifice our ability to continuously improve productivity and our long-term competitiveness for an agreement."

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