With most of its taxi drivers positioned to go on strike at any time, Yellow Checker Star Transportation has launched a recruiting campaign promising an “exceptional opportunity for career-minded individuals.”
In both print and online ads, the city’s second-largest cab company began seeking people with a “good DMV printout” interested in “average estimated pay” of $38,000 per year, rising as high as $60,000 with tips.
“All you need its courtesy and enthusiasm,” the ad says. “No experience? No problem!”
Company executives could not be reached for comment. But in a recently launched blog, the company noted that it has the right to hire permanent replacements.
“When (a) strike concludes, striking employees will be reinstated only if vacant positions exist,” the company wrote. But arrangements could be made to bring back the current drivers, the company wrote.
The ad doesn’t mention a work stoppage, but Sam Moffitt, a steward with the Industrial Technical Professional Employees Union said that’s what’s driving the hiring binge.
“Of course, they are trying to line up as many replacements as they can if or when there is a strike,” said Moffitt, who disputed the pay figures without offering alternative numbers. “Most of our drivers qualify for food stamps.”
Last week, Yellow Checker Star declared an impasse after five months of contract negotiations with the union. A second tentative pact was rejected by 70 percent of the drivers after a previous version was voted down in November. So, Yellow Checker Star unilaterally imposed the terms of the most recent proposal, effective this past Sunday.
After the impasse was announced, senior union officials raised the options that included formally contesting the impasse, which would bring in the National Labor Relations Board to issue a formal verdict on the state of the talks. The officials couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
To raise their profile, the drivers will stage an informational picket at the Las Vegas Convention Center starting at 4 p.m. today. The protest would come at the end of the day at the big World of Concrete trade show. That’s when cab lines are typically the longest, as many of the show’s 50,000 conventioneers return to their hotels.
Yellow Checker Star has about 1,740 drivers, including about 400 who do not belong to the union. The company also holds operating permits known as medallions that lets it put as many as 603 cabs on the streets, one-fourth of the entire Las Vegas fleet.
No one will estimate how many cabs Yellow Checker Star would be able to put on the streets if the union decided to walk out.
The Nevada Taxicab Authority’s administrator can issue as many as 30 temporary medallions to other companies if needed to cover any service shortfall.
Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290.