Taxicab driver strike enters third week
By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Mar 17, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Striking taxicab drivers took their message to the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, two weeks after first walking off the job.
Several dozen union members and supporters picketed outside of Caesars Palace Sunday evening. The strike for some drivers from Yellow-Checker-Star Transportation is entering its third week and picketers said they won't return to work until they get what they want.
"I will stay out here as long as it takes," said Stan Rozenberg, a union member and striking driver who took part in a separate demonstration outside the company's office on West Post Road.
Drivers said they are upset over wages and long work days, which they said can total up to 60 hours a week. The union has also said it's upset the company implemented the current working conditions on Feb. 3, even though union members had previously rejected the offers on two occasions.
"I'd rather be at work, but I don't think that anybody should have to work these kind of hours," said Rozenberg.
The cab company said about 650 drivers, or over one-third of its 1,700 workforce, are taking part in the strike.
Bill Shranko, chief operating officer of the cab company, said the new terms include wage increases for drivers after they have worked six months and safety bonuses.
The company said the conditions were "the last, best and final offer," implemented only after both sides reached an impasse. Shranko said the terms are among the "best working conditions in the industry" and said after numerous meetings, he's done talking with the union.
"We don't want to meet with them anymore," Shranko said. "The terms and conditions have been implemented. They're good for four and a half years, so if they don't like it, go work for another company."
The cab company is in the process of hiring permanent replacements for the striking drivers, Shranko said. So far, about 65 percent of the shifts opened by the strike have been covered, he said. The cab company is not firing anyone, and striking drivers who want to return to work will be allowed to do so as positions open, Shranko said.
No new meetings or negotiations with the union are currently scheduled, Shranko said.