Citing the potentially devastating effect on an important sector of the economy already reeling from last year?s Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service yesterday asked that the International Association of Machinists and aerospace giant Boeing resume negotiations. Although the request to extend the current contract for thirty days and meet with the FMCS this Wednesday came as the IAM was counting strike votes on management?s ?final? offer (see WIT for Aug. 28, 2002), the union responded by delaying the final count of the strike vote and promising to attend the meeting even if Boeing representatives do not. In the strongest proof yet that it wants a strike (see WIT for Aug. 22, 2002), Boeing has expressed outrage at the request and said that it may well decide not to attend the meeting, while trying to cast itself in the role of a defender of its employees? right to take industrial action.