Mechanics for American Airlines are a big step closer to a strike. Last night, the votes were counted at the Transport Workers Union and, by a nearly two-to-one margin, the mechanics said no to American’s latest contract offer and simultaneously authorized the union to take certain steps that could include calling a strike. Workers decide the contract offer does not make up for wage cuts that employees accepted in 2003. In separate voting, two smaller work groups were split. About a thousand stock clerks joined mechanics in rejecting American’s contract offer, while 78 technical specialists ratified the deal. The mechanics and stock clerks will ask the National Mediation Board to declare negotiations deadlocked and permit them to go on strike after 30 days. American says the proposal includes “…immediate financial gains…” along with more vacation days, holidays and sick time for employees.