In a widely expected show of force Boeing engineers and technical workers rejected a pay offer on Monday, setting the stage for talks to resume Tuesday for agreements covering 23,000 workers.The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace said 95.5 percent of engineers and 97.1 percent of technicians voted against the contract offer, sending their bargaining teams back to the negotiating table.The union and Boeing had agreed before the mail-in ballots were counted that if the contract offer was voted down they would meet on Tuesday to continue discussions on a deal to replace two agreements that expire on October 6.Figures released by Speea showed 15,097 members voted to reject the contract, compared with 608 who supported it, with 72 percent of all members voting."We hope the vote results clear away the nonsense and allow us to begin substantive negotiations," said Ray Goforth, executive director of Speea in a statement.Boeing issued a statement saying: "We are committed to continuing discussions, answering questions and considering any proposals or counter-proposals from your negotiations team."Analysts said they did not expect the vote to affect Boeing's operations or share price in the short term, since engineers can continue working under the current contract after it expires.Boeing said that should talks go beyond October 6, the contract would terminate on November 25 because Speea had filed a 60-day termination notice."No strike can take place until after November 25," Boeing said.A separate vote is required to approve a strike, and most experts, including union and Boeing officials, say they consider a strike unlikely.Source: Reuters
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