December 22, 2005

NY mediators say transit union agrees to end strike

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state mediators said on
Thursday transit workers union leaders had agreed to direct
their striking members to return to work and both union and
transit authorities would resume negotiations on a contract.

Some 34,000 workers in the Transport Workers Union Local
100 walked off the job on Tuesday after contract talks broke
down over pay, healthcare and pensions.

With the strike on America's largest mass transit system in
its third day, mediator Richard Curreri told reporters that
both Transport Workers Union Local 100 leaders and the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority negotiators had agreed to
resume negotiations on a contract.

He said the mediation team had suggested to union leaders
that they direct their members to go back to work while talks
resume. "They have agreed," he said.

Transport officials say it could take at least 12 to 24
hours for full service to resume on the subway and bus system
that normally carries 7 million passengers a day.

State law prohibits public sector employees from striking
and a court on Tuesday fined the union $1 million a day for the
duration of the strike, while workers faced the loss of two
days pay for each day they remained on strike.