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Stock Exchange Says It Can Cope With a Strike

November 01, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Officials at the New York Stock Exchange vowed Saturday to keep the ticker of its overburdened and beleaguered market going despite the prospect of a strike by 950 clerks and secretaries.

The contract expired at midnight Saturday, said Richard Torrenzano, a vice president at the stock exchange.

"Our position is that we are going to be open Monday morning, and the exchange will function normally regardless of any action by the union," Torrenzano said.

Torrenzano said talks were set for this evening, and no strike deadline has been set by the union. The issues have not been disclosed, but the union handed over a package of proposals Friday. Management negotiators planned to study the proposals and respond today.

Officials representing the 950 members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 153, were unavailable for comment Saturday.

The union represents secretaries, clerks and other support personnel at the exchange, its subsidiary, the New York Futures Exchange and the Securities Industry Automation Corp.

Torrenzano declined to say whether management personnel would replace the strikers or if outside workers would be hired.

But he said the exchange has "contingency plans in place, just like you have for hurricanes and snowstorms. We expect to maintain the hours we announced last week."

Members of the New York Stock Exchange worked for the second Saturday in a row. A few hundred traders, brokers and specialists worked from 9 a.m. until noon processing questionable transactions--those in which a conflict has arisen over the time, volume or the price of a sale.

Torrenzano estimated that the extra three hours allowed exchange members to get 95% to 99% caught up. The settlement and clearance process must be completed within five days of a sale.

The NYSE announced on Friday that it would extend its shortened trading days through this week to allow its own employees and member firms to clear away paper work left over from the unprecedented trading explosion since the market collapsed on Oct. 19.

The exchange said it would close at 2:30 p.m. EST Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Its normal operating hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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