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Striking workers, U. of Ill. to meet with mediator

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A federal mediator says in an email obtained by The Associated Press that the union representing striking University of Illinois employees and the school have agreed to meet.

The email from the mediator to the union and university says the two sides are scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday.

Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Rosen confirmed those plans. University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said school negotiators had contacted the union but wasn't immediately able to confirm more than that.

The strike by almost 800 food- and building-service workers entered its third and what is scheduled to be final day Wednesday. Workers plan a midday rally.

Employees started the strike after turning down an offer of a new contract. Their concerns include wages and other issues.

Negotiations started last spring.

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