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Vegas taxicab strike ends as new contract signed

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A 2-month-old taxicab strike has ended in Las Vegas after management with the Yellow-Checker-Star cab company agreed to pay drivers a larger share of the meter revenue and allow more flexible scheduling.

A contract was signed Thursday morning, officially ending the 60-day strike by members of the Industrial, Technical and Professional Employees Union/Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 4873.

“The drivers stood strong during a very difficult strike,” said the union group’s president, Dennis R. Arrington.

Bill Shranko, chief operating officer of Yellow-Checker Star, said he’s relieved there’s an agreement in place, but said the strike went on too long and strained relationships between management and drivers.

“This was a very ugly strike,” said Shranko, who said it included picketers spitting on staff and both sides yelling obscenities at each other. “In order to get back to being a family, we’ve got to forgive and forget.”

The contract includes sixteen wage and benefit changes, according to the union. It reinstates drivers’ eligibility to work four days a week with longer hours instead of five or six days, and increases annual bonuses and benefits.

Union drivers and management have been in a labor dispute since March 3. They thought they had a new contract worked out in January, but three-fourths of the union’s drivers rejected the proposal.

At least 100 drivers have stayed away from their jobs since then, and the company began hiring temporary replacements in mid-March. Shranko said all striking drivers will be reinstated.

Yellow-Checker-Star is the second-largest taxi company in the Las Vegas valley. Regulators at the Nevada Taxicab Authority allowed other taxi companies to pick up the workload of the striking drivers, ensuring there was no disruption of service for Las Vegas visitors, Shranko said.

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