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SEATTLE (AP) - The head of Boeing's engineering union says there's a 'very high chance' a strike could come as soon as February.

Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Engineering Employees in Aerospace, tells The Seattle Times the union is working on detailed preparations for a strike.

Federal mediators suspended talks last week as part of a "cooling-off period" over the holidays.

Boeing's initial offer was rejected by the union's 23,000 members, who are mostly in the Puget Sound region with small pockets in Oregon, Utah and California. Issues include pay and Boeing's desire to replace the pension with a 401(k) plan for new hires.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder says the company doesn't want a strike and the union's rhetoric isn't doing any good.