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MTA-UNIONS DEAL DELAYS CHANCE OF STRIKE 1 WEEK.

Byline: David Bloom Daily News Staff Writer

Hours before contracts were to expire Monday night, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its three unions put off any possibility of a transit strike for a week.

The contracts with the United Transportation Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Transportation Communications Union were due to expire at midnight, leaving open the possibility of a strike like the nine-day stoppage that crippled the city in 1994.

But late in the afternoon, the UTU, which represents bus drivers, and the MTA agreed to a week extension of their contract.

Only the UTU among the three unions has filed the necessary legal notices allowing it to lead a strike once its contract lapses, MTA officials said.

If the UTU eventually does strike, the ATU and TCU could honor the picket lines and also strike, much as what happened in 1994, when the ATU's mechanics and maintenance workers walked out three weeks after its contract originally expired.

A new strike appeared unlikely Monday as two emergency board meetings to possibly ratify contracts were scheduled Sunday evening and Monday morning, then called off.

Much of the last-minute work focused on a complex arrangement to allow the unions' workers to essentially bid against private operators for the right to operate bus lines being contracted out, sources close to the negotiations said.

The MTA and unions have been fighting over efforts to use more part-timers, reduce overtime, cut pension and insurance expenses, and eliminate work rules the agency believes are unnecessarily onerous.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 1997
Words:251
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