Striking drivers at Yellow Checker Star Transportation, Las Vegas’ second-largest cab company voted Wednesday to return to work after receiving concessions on several key contract provisions.
Although the formal contract signing will take place at the company’s offices this morning, drivers were allowed to return to work starting at midnight Wednesday after manning the picket lines for 60 days. They will have until Sunday to report back to work.
“We didn’t get everything we demanded, but we got several improvements,” said Sam Moffitt, the steward with the Industrial Technical and Professional Employees union, Local 4873.
About 1,300 of the 1,800 Yellow Checker Star belong to the union. Union leaders said about 700 consistently stayed on strike. Company chief operating officer Bill Shranko said all would get their jobs back with the same seniority.
“Both sides got bruised,” Shranko said. “It went on way too long.”
Both sides also credited the persistent efforts, particularly in the past two weeks, of Kitty Simmons of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service in finding the common ground to end a dispute that began on March 3 and had settled into trench warfare.
The changes Moffitt outlines in the new contract, which will extend until July 2017, include a higher share of fares retained by drivers. Previously, it ranged from 39 percent to 43.5 percent in stages, but that was boosted to 39.5 percent to 44 percent. However, drivers hired after Thursday will get only 38.5 percent during their first year.
Drivers must work at the company 10 years before rising to the top tier.
In addition, the contract allows drivers to take only four-day weeks if they drive 12-hour shifts, and it has a set share of 10-hour shifts available.
Further, drivers no longer face a company penalty for accidents. Formerly, the would have to pay between $50 and $900, depending how long they had gone between accidents.
There also are provisions that make it easier to retain medical insurance and to collect vacation time and bonuses.
The contract was deemed approved after an overwhelmingly favorable voice vote, Moffitt said.
“These drivers, although enduring a great deal of personal hardship, stood together and proved that through solidarity and collective bargaining, workers can improve their quality of life,” Michael Goodwin, president of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, the parent of the drivers’ union, said in a prepared statement.
Yellow Checker Star holds one-fourth of the approximately 2,400 operating permits granted to Las Vegas cabs.