The threat of a wildcat strike against Frias Transportation Management, the city’s largest cab company, fizzled on Thursday night after weak attendance at a driver meeting intended to give the go-ahead.
Only about 150 drivers showed up, well short of the number certain local leaders of the United Steelworkers Union consider essential to have an impact on Frias, which has more than 1,800 drivers. The drivers favoring the strike will try again at another meeting called for Wednesday night.
Frias, through its five brands, holds nearly 30 percent of the operating permits known as medallions allocate to Las Vegas cab companies.
“Where is everybody at?” said Sarah Hall, a member of the committee leading the recent contract negotiations with Frias, on Thursday night. “If this is what we show when you call for a strike, you can kiss it goodbye.”
Not only do some drivers want to sweeten the terms of their new contract, which went into effect on March 11, but they also dispute the actions taken by union officials in Albuquerque, N.M. There, district director Robert LaVenture took the unusual step of signing the pact without putting it to a membership vote.
As a result, any strike would be considered wildcat, not only depriving drivers of any union support but putting them at risk of immediate termination by the company.
On Wednesday night, an impromptu meeting of drivers of East African descent from all cab companies, led to a decision to avoid picking up people at McCarran International Airport, the MGM Grand Hotel, the Venetian and Palazzo. At mid-afternoon, however, there were no cab lines at the resorts and nothing unusual at the airport on a typically busy Friday.
A group of striking Yellow Checker Star Transportation drivers protested Friday afternoon by driving through the Terminal 1 departure area en masse in their own cars.
Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290.