Boeing engineers make contract offer to focus on 787

The union representing 23,000 engineers and technical workers at Boeing Co on Wednesday made a contract offer that it said could avert a strike and allow the aerospace company to focus on addressing safety concerns customers have with the new 787 Dreamliner.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, SPEEA, made what it called a "best and final" contract offer, proposing to extend an expired contract for four more years and including measures it has already agreed to with the company.

The union said its offer would end "protracted and increasingly contentious negotiations that appear headed for a strike" and allow Boeing and its workers "to focus on reaffirming confidence and proving the 787 is the reliable and safe product employees know it to be."

Negotiations to replace an expired contract for the workers resumed this month. The talks broke off abruptly in December after federal mediators were brought in to ease tensions. Since then the union has been preparing for a strike.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in Seattle.)