April 30, 2013
Tentative deal reached to end synchronous firefly lockout
After 18 hours of negotiations, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a firefly species that flashes synchronously reached a provisional deal Sunday that will allow the 2013 viewing season to begin on schedule. The fireflies and their union agreed to the framework of a 12-year labor contract that will allow fans to watch the winged beetles from the Elkmont Campground from Thursday, June 6 through Thursday, June 13. "It was a tense battle," said three fireflies synchronously. "We insects obviously prefer sending luminous mating signals to haggling about money. Now we can get back to giving the fans what they want: the opportunity to be creepy voyeurs." Lawyers will spend the next few days drafting paperwork to make the deal official. "I'm thrilled for our fans," said park ranger Dawn Winfield. "I'm sorry negotiations took this long, but now everyone can get back to spending a few summer evenings sitting in traffic for hours to watch a few flashes of light."
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