Taxi company shuts down talks, strike possible
31 January 2013
Representatives of the Yellow-Checker-Star taxi group won’t return to contract negotiations, saying a contract rejected by 70 percent of the drivers’ union membership on Monday is their best and final offer.
The YCS reply announced today sets the stage for a potential strike against Las Vegas’ second-largest taxi group on the eve of one of the city’s busiest times — Super Bowl weekend.
The current extended contract ends at midnight tonight.
More than 1,100 drivers represented by the Industrial Technical Professional Employees union overwhelmingly rejected YCS’ most recent contract offer in a vote conducted Sunday and Monday. The union notified the company of the vote on Tuesday and was awaiting a response.
Today, the union got it.
“YCS management has determined that further negotiations would not be productive,” company officials said in a release issued just before noon. “Therefore, due to the impasse reached, YCS management will implement terms and conditions of employment effective Feb. 3. YCS encourages the multitude of drivers who have stated a strong desire to continue working, to support our team in serving the public.”
The union will now strategize how to respond.
Union negotiator Paul Bohelski, a senior international representative for the union, said he would meet with drivers to determine the next move.
Drivers could accept the latest contract offer, conduct informational pickets or walk off the job.
It’s unclear how effective a walkout would be because a quarter of YCS’ drivers are not union members and both sides will be seeking support from those unaffiliated drivers.
In addition, the Nevada Taxicab Authority has a standing order triggered by a strike that enables companies not affected by the action to operate additional cabs.
The key issues of the contract dispute are over pay and the amount of time a driver must be employed to be eligible for a four-day work week.
Starting drivers usually work 12-hour shifts five or six days a week and must be with the company 18 months to be eligible to work only four days a week. The new contract extends that time to six years.
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