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Philadelphia strike ends

A union walkout that brought many city services to a halt ended the day it began Tuesday when the mayor and the city's two unions reached tentative agreements.

Leaders for the unions approved pacts to end a work stoppage _ the city called it a strike, the union a lockout _ that began at midnight.

The pacts are similar to money-saving contracts Mayor Edward Rendell unilaterally imposed two weeks ago, claiming talks were at an impasse. The move _ which the unions claimed was illegal _ precipitated the strike.

Off the job briefly were garbage collectors, water and sewage workers, City Hall clerks, inspectors, social workers, emergency 911 operators and others.

Some blue-collar workers were to return to work Tuesday night; white-collar workers were due back Wednesday.

The new contracts include a two-year wage freeze, a 2 percent raise in the third year and 3 percent in the fourth. They also reduce holidays from 14 to 10 and give the city some power to lay off workers.