Washington — The 15,000-member air traffic controllers union overwhelmingly rejected a tentative contract with the government, setting the stage for a resumption of talks -- and a renewed threat of a strike. With all ballots counted. 13,495 -- 95.3 percent -- voted to reject the pact, while 616 -- about 4.7 percent -- voted to accept it, according to union officials.
Both sides expressed eagerness to return to the bargaining table. Meanwhile, 55 senators have signed a letter warning they will oppose pay increases for controllers if they strike. Congress would have to approve portions of any contract reached between the union and the government, because cont rollers are civil service employees.