Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan offered further comprises yesterday to striking public employes in an effort to end the county's week-long labor dispute.
Hogan's offer to reach agreement on one contract item and two other strike-related issues came after the county executive met yesterday morning with a federal mediator trying to resolve the first public employe strike in the county's history.
Five locals of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, whose 1,500 members represent clerical staff in the county, road crews and jail guards, have been on strike since early last Tuesday morning.
County officials and union leaders have disputed the strike's effectiveness.
Hundreds of picketers marched around 11 county facilities all last week, bringing activity almost to a standstill at several sites, including the county landfill, animal shelter and jail.
In a statement released by aides, Hogan said he was willing to work out a solution with union leaders on the issues of union security, amnesty for striking workers and the firing of jail guards who walked off the job despite a court injunction last Tuesday, sparking a riot by 200 inmates.
Hogan, who has previously said he would not accept union demands that a new contract required union membership as a condition of employment, said yesterday that "Even on this point we have suggested a compromise."
Hogan would not say what that compromise would be. Union officials, told of Hogan's statement yesterday, said that they too were willing to comprise on their union security demands.
Hogan also said that with the exception of striking jail guards he would take no action against union members who walked off the job last week, provided union officials agreed not to fine nonstriking members $50 a day as its leaders have previously threatened.
Hogan rejected a union demand brought up at an eight-hour bargaining session last Friday with federal meditor Brian Flores that Union members be allowed to use paid annual leave time to cover the days they were out walking picket lines. "I'm not willing to pay them for striking," Hogan said.
On the issue of the jail guards, which all sides agree will determine whether a settlement can be reached in the protracted labor dispute, Hogan moderated his previous position that all striking guards have been permanently fired.
While reiterating his opposition to allowing the guards to return to work, Hogan said that each firing "will be judged on a case-by-case basis and where mitigating circumstances exist, they will be taken into account."
The guards have been on strike since 12:01 a.m. Tuesday when the night shift walked off the job, sparking a riot of some 200 prisoners. The guards refused to return to their posts despite a circuit court order to do so. g
Union officials have said that there can be no settlement of the strike unless all its members, including the jail guards, are allowed to return to work. Jail officials have begun hiring private and security guards and corrections officers laid off by the District of Columbia to replace the striking guards.
Circuit Court Judge James M. Rea is scheduled to decide to day whether some 80 guards -- of a total of 126 -- who received copies of his court order should be held in contempt of court and possibly fined or jailed or defying his order that they return to the job.
That hearing is expected to be followed by a negotiation session possibly today or tomorrow with Flores at the Federal Mediation and conciliation Service in Washington. Now meeting hs been scheduled yet, a spokesman for Flores said yesterday.
Flores called the two sides together last Friday for their first meeting since the strike began.At that time country and union officials were able to compromise on two of three issues that had led to the strike.
The union dropped its demand for a full-time county-paid chief shop steward for the five locals. The two sides also comprised on granting the union 75 paid leave days to allow union leaders to attend meetings and conferences. The union had wanted 126 days and Hogan had said he would give them none.