Boeing Workers Back Strike; Pact Extended 2 Days

SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co. aircraft assembly workers have voted to strike for an unprecedented second time in three years. But their contract has been extended 48 hours at the request of Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and a federal mediator.

The vote late Wednesday was 87 percent in favor of a strike as unanimously recommended by machinists union negotiators. Under union rules a strike requires at least two-thirds support from those voting.

In separate balloting, union members also voted 80 percent to reject Boeing’s third and final three-year contract offer, which included pay raises averaging 11 percent.

The walkout was to begin at 12:01 a.m. PDT Thursday, after the expiration of a contract covering more than 27,000 workers. Now that contract has a short extension.