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(Adds details on contract)
July 16 (Reuters) - Boeing on Saturday said it is "disappointed" that the union representing nearly 2,500 employees at the U.S. planemaker's facilities in the St. Louis area has recommended rejection of management's contract offer.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union representing the workers, said in an earlier statement that it recommended rejecting the company's "last, best, and final" contract offer.
The contract is set to expire on Monday, July 25. After a seven-day waiting period, the workers could begin picketing on Aug. 1 if they vote to reject the contract offer and go on strike, the union said.
Boeing said it remains "hopeful that our employees will see the value in this offer and vote yes" to accept its offer, which the company said provides "highly competitive" wage increases and cash and stock immediately and also includes one of the "most lucrative" 401(k) retirement plans in the country.
Tom Boelling, an IAM official, said Boeing had failed to meet members' needs on a number of issues. "We will fight for a contract the membership deserves," he said in the union statement. (Reporting by Jose Joseph and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao)