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Strike by Boeing engineers 'a real possibility'

The union representing Boeing's engineers and technical workers are preparing for any possibility, including a strike, with the suspension of contract negotiations with the company.

The months-long negotiations were suspended after federal mediators Tuesday and Wednesday met with negotiators for Boeing and the Tukwila-based Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA).

"There is as real possibility there could be a strike," SPEEA spokesman Bill Dugovich said Friday.

"There are still wide gaps between our position and the company's position," he said, and the membership "is frustrated."

Additional training for picket captains has been scheduled, he said.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service suspended the negotiations on Wednesday until after the first of the year. The two sides agreed to the mediator request, according to the agency.

In the meantime, the agency will talk with both sides about rescheduling the negotiations.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder wouldn't comment beyond what was in the mediator's statement.

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