by: Jim Bradley Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Federal mediator to work with CATS bus drivers to reach possible deal
Sources said a federal mediator was brought in to help avoid a strike by CATS bus drivers.
The drivers' signed a contract extension last month with the private company that operates the CATS bus system.
That contract ends Nov. 11 at midnight.
Union representatives said they're optimistic they can reach a new agreement this weekend, but also said they're willing to consider a strike.
Members of the union and management met behind closed doors at a south Charlotte hotel Friday.
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Neither side is talking publicly about the negotiations, but sources say there was little movement in Friday's talks.
Among other things, drivers are asking for concessions from management over how seniority is applied and how drivers are paid.
The CATS system has about 80,000 riders each day. The union must give the city 48 hours notice if it intends to put a work stoppage into effect.