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Greyhound Strike Talks Fail to Yield Pact

from Associated Press

Negotiators for striking Greyhound drivers and the bus line recessed talks Saturday after a nine-hour bargaining session failed to produce a new contract in the two-month walkout.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said that both sides were reviewing proposals and that mediators hoped to schedule new talks within a few days.

The talks were the first in the walkout since mid-March and came a day after the company reported a $56-million loss for the first three months of this year.

A four-hour round of morning talks, which mostly involved each side talking separately with federal mediators, produced “very little” progress, Edward M. Strait, president of the Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions, said after labor and management broke separately for lunch.

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Greyhound Vice President Anthony P. Lannie, the company’s top negotiator, also said “nothing’s happened so far.”

The negotiators left by a basement exit after the afternoon session, avoiding reporters.

Lannie and Strait are trying to settle disputes over wages, job security and seniority issues for the 6,300 striking drivers and 3,000 clerical and maintenance workers who walked out March 2.

Union spokesman Nick Nichols said striking drivers were hopeful a new contract could be reached soon because there appeared to be less “acrimony and tension” between the two sides.

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The walkout halted intercity bus service in nearly half of the 10,000 communities Greyhound serves. Greyhound, the only nationwide bus line, has said it has since restored about 83% of its normal service.

But on Friday, the company said it had suffered a $55.8-million loss in the January-March quarter, compared to a $14.4-million loss in the first quarter of 1989. It turned a profit of under $1 million last year.

The company blamed $20 million of this year’s first-quarter loss on security for the shootings, bomb threats and other violent incidents that have occurred since the strike began nine weeks ago.

Citing the violence, the company withdrew from negotiations in mid-March. There have been more than 30 shootings at buses and terminals since the strike began.

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