A reported 87% of Boeing Co. machinists voted to strike on Wednesday, but their union agreed to delay the walkout by 48 hours pending federal mediation. News of further negotiations led angry workers to shout down union officials, but Mark Blondin, aerospace coordinator for the International Association of Machinists, promised, "They've got 48 hours to bring a deal that's acceptable to you or it's on." Boeing's chief negotiator promised to "listen to the union," while CEO Jim McNerney said in a letter to employees that the company would try its best to avoid a strike. "But," he cautioned, "we will do so ever mindful of our responsibilities to protect our long-term competitiveness, maintain our ability to best serve our customers, and to ensure fairness and equity for all employee groups."
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