SEATTLE (AP) _ The union representing The Boeing Co's engineers and technical workers is planning a strike next Thursday if the latest contract offer from Boeing is rejected.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace is planning to vote on the contract Wednesday. The union represents nearly 23,000 employees _ about 11 percent of Boeing's overall work force.

A company memorandum circulating among engineers and technical workers indicates that Boeing officials plan to postpone two meetings with airline customers of the 747 jetliner in early February because of the ``high probability'' of a strike, Boeing said.

``We do remain hopeful that the contract will pass, but we do take any strike threats from the union seriously,'' said Boeing spokesman Peter Conte.

Union negotiators originally considered a one-week walkout but decided to call a strike of undetermined length if the contract is rejected, SPEEA executive director Charles Bofferding said.

``Basically, the company has shown no desire to negotiate with us, and our people have decided to do something about it,'' Bofferding said. ``A no vote on this contract is a vote to strike.''

The union represents overtime-exempt engineers and scientists in one unit and computer programmers, manual writers and other technicians in a second unit. About 60 percent of those covered by the contracts belong to the union.

Key issues include a lack of guaranteed pay increases or bonuses and changes in life insurance and other benefits.

Both units voted down an earlier contract offer by more than 98 percent in December. Bofferding said the latest offer was better than the first, but did little to alter the status quo.