NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A threatened “rule book” slowdown aimed at disrupting subway service Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, may be called off.
The head of the MTA and the Transport Workers Union are scheduled to meet behind closed doors to hammer out a contract agreement.READ MORE: Storm Watch: Officials Hoping To Avoid Repeat Of Ida With Preparations For Nor'easter
The last time there was a transit strike was December 2005. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg walked across the Brooklyn Bridge with his constituents 14 years ago, telling CBS2 how angry he was.
“I think it’s reprehensible that any group would try to hurt the people of New York, but hopefully they’ll come to their senses, go back to work, and go back to the negotiating table,” Bloomberg said.
Fast forward to 2019, the Transport Workers Union is protesting possible cuts to subway cleaners as talks continue to reach a contract agreement.READ MORE: NYPD: Man Shot Inside Union Square Subway Station
While some union members were threatening a rule book slow down the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – sources tell CBS2 the two sides are making progress. So much progress that MTA chairman Patrick Foye and Transport Workers President Tony Utano are going to meet face-to-face, one-on-one without their staffs to hammer out an agreement.
Both sides called it an “executive session.”
MTA chairman Pat Foye said in a statement “we will continue to negotiate in good faith until a deal is done.”
TWU Local 100 President Utano added “the 40,000 hardworking men and women who move eight million people a day by subway and bus deserve a fair contract.”MORE NEWS: 'Squid Game' Halloween Costumes Banned By New York School District Due To Netflix Hit's 'Violent Message'
The union has been without a contract since May 15. At times tensions have boiled over. Rule book slowdowns have reportedly caused several delays, but a source tells CBS2 “we’re out of the shouting phase and into the talking phase.”