Assembly workers at Boeing Co.'s C-17 cargo jet plant in Long Beach rejected a final contract offer from the company and went on strike Tuesday, halting production lines.

Shortly after midnight, United Auto Workers Local 148 union members walked out and started picketing at several Boeing locations in Long Beach.

The walkout comes nearly a week after talks broke down on negotiations for a labor contract covering some 1,700 workers responsible for assembly of the jumbo-size airlifter. The union, which has about 1,700 workers at the plant, said it declined Boeing's 46-month contract proposal because it contained too many concessions, primarily over pension plans and medical benefits.

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