Bus company calls for end to strike, says ready to go Monday

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The company embroiled in a labor dispute that's left more than 9,000 schoolchildren without buses for more than two weeks says the strike must end and says it's ready to resume service Monday.

Frank McMahon, a spokesman for First Student, says the Teamsters' union strike that has shut down service to Providence schools must end Friday.

He says drivers who want to work are welcome to come back and that the company will help with drivers' safe entrance to the bus yard. He says students, families and the city cannot keep waiting.

A spokesman for the union did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Absences have risen as students have had trouble getting to school since the strike began Sept. 27. The dispute is over retirement benefits.

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