The judge hearing the National Labor Relations Board’s union-busting lawsuit against Boeing Co. is urging both sides to reach a settlement, a television station is reporting.

If they can’t come to terms, they Clifford Henderson said the federal agency and the company should be sure to “maximize their opportunities and not waste time,” KIRO 7 Seattle said on its website, www.kirotv.com.

Boeing today asked Henderson to dismiss the NLRB’s complaint.

Henderson said the case could go on for five years, and compared the lawsuit to “a custody dispute in a marriage that’s going to continue,” according to KIRO 7.

The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers recently proposed a settlement, but Boeing rejected it as unreasonable, the Wall Street Journal reported late last week. A Boeing spokesman told the Journal that the union wanted the company to guarantee work for factories staffed by its members, including a commitment to place its next new aircraft program and supply chain in the Seattle area.