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P.M. BRIEFING : Greyhound Declares Victory Over Union; Drivers Deny It

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Greyhound Chairman Fred Currey declared victory today in the 2-month-old bus drivers’ strike, but the union said the bitter walkout was by no means over.

“We are no longer driver-inhibited,” Currey told reporters at a news conference called by the company at its Dallas headquarters. The statement came a day after the company proposed a four-year wage freeze and the elimination of 4,500 union jobs, a proposal the union called an “insult.”

The union said the strike was far from over, noting the company’s recently announced $56 million quarterly loss. In Washington, spokesman Nick Nichols said Currey should review the bus line’s financial documents and look at picket lines for a truer picture of the strike.

“Then, quite frankly, he should jump on a bus and try and travel across the country and see how far he gets,” Nichols said. “If he takes those three actions, he indeed will conclude a very effective work stoppage is under way.”

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“We hope his conclusion will be to get back to the bargaining table and get to the business of rebuilding his company and providing bus service to the nation’s public,” said Nichols, a spokesman for the Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions.

In his announcement, Currey declared “a new day in the life of the new Greyhound,” which he said currently is serving the cities that brought in 98% of its revenue last year. Total revenue is about 70% of last year.

“We’re putting the events of the last two months behind us,” Currey said.

About 6,300 drivers have been on strike since March 2.

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