A wildcat strike by New Orleans garbagemen ended yesterday as trucks made pickups along the streets of that humid city. And many of Philadelphia's 19,600 striking employes were voting on a contract to end their week-long walkout.
Most of the 328 New Orleans garbagemen were back at work for the first time since Tuesday, when they struck over complaints that many trucks were unusable. The trucks were an issue because garbagemen get paid only if they complete their routes.
Mayor Ernest Morial had promised Thursday that at least 80 of the city's 122 trucks would be available yesterday, and that no strikers would be punished for the walkout.
About one-third of the garbagemen had reported for work Thursday under a judge's order.
The Philadelphia workers, including garbagemen, recreation and health workers, stuck to the picket lines pending the outcome of an all-day vote on a tentative contract.
Garbage, rotting in 90-degree temperatures and attracting swarms of files, has been accumulating on many city streets. Most city services were closed or curtailed, including health centers and licensing boards.
The main issues have been the workers' demand for a 9 percent pay raise to match police and firemen and the city's threat to lay off hundreds of employes to pay for any raise.