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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 University of Illinois and the union that represents striking school employees 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 details.

The strike by almost 800 food- and building-service workers entered its third and what is scheduled to be final day Wednesday. About 400 people attended a midday rally.

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