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Boeing says talks with SPEEA union will resume Wednesday

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Boeing Co and its engineering union have agreed to resume talks on Wednesday to replace an expired contract for 7,500 technical workers, another step toward settling negotiations that have continued for nearly a year.

Boeing said it had agreed to resume the talks with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which has been involved in the talks since December. The union also said it had sought talks next week.

The resumption of talks comes after technical workers, one of two SPEEA bargaining units at Boeing, voted narrowly on Tuesday to reject Boeing's latest offer. The other unit, representing 15,500 professional engineers, voted narrowly to accept the offer.

Both units had authorized the union to call a strike in the vote, but the engineers' authorization is moot, since it agreed to the contract and that agreement prohibits workers from striking while a contract is in effect.

The union on Friday launched a survey of its technical workers, asking which issues they think are priorities for the next stage of negotiations.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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