Leaders of the striking Prince George's County public employes union and county officials met for two hours yesterday in a session
With the strike about 1,400 public workers in its 10th day, representatives of both sides described the mood of the meeting as tense and conceded they were tried after several days of bargaining. Negotiations are scheduled to resume this morning.
County jail guards, who returned to work Monday following a court ruling, remained on the job yesterday except for eight who walked out for an hour in the morning, then returned to work. A spokesman for the union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employes, blamed "communcations problems" inside the jail and said the union had not ordered the move.
The future treatment of the guards is a key issue in the negotiations to settle the strike.
Almost all the guards struck when the strike began at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 12, and jail inmates rioted. The striking guards were under threat of firing from County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan when the County Circuit Court on Monday placed the jail under a trusteeship and sent the strikers back to work. On Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals overturned the circuit court order.
Wednesday's appellate court ruling prompted county officials to develop plans to secure the jail should the guards walk out a second time.