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Philadelphia, Blue-Collar Union Head For Showdown As Negotiations Stall

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Today is the deadline set by Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter for the blue-collar city workers' union to respond to what he calls his "final offer" in the long-running contract talks.

It was two weeks ago that Mayor Nutter's negotiators delivered the so-called "final offer" to District Council 33 (see related story).   His aides indicated that if there was no agreement by today, he could take further actions, possibly imposing terms of the offer on the workers.

"We are interested in reform changes with regard to pensions and the right to furlough, and substantial changes with regard to overtime policy," says Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald.

DC 33 chief Pete Matthews has stated he won't even negotiate if furloughs are on the table (see related story).   So any chance for progress in the late-day negotiations, when the two sides meet at 4pm today, is very uncertain.

The union, along with the white-collar District Council 47, has been without a contract since 2009 (see related story).

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