1,800 Las Vegas Cab Drivers Authorize Strike in Contract Vote

USW drivers at five taxi units under Frias Co. owner reject seniority proposal

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 1,800 union cab drivers employed by the Frias Co., announced today they have rejected a contract proposal by 99.5 percent of a ballot vote held on Tuesday, providing strike authorization for the Local 711-A negotiating committee of the United Steelworkers (USW) that escalates talks for a labor agreement.

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USW Local 711-A voted all day yesterday until late evening to accept or reject the contract offer from the Frias Co. The union drivers operate cabs for ANLV, Virgin Valley, ABC Union, Vegas Western, and ACE Cab under Frias ownership.

The biggest issue for the drivers is a proposal by Frias for contract language that erodes seniority rights. 

Local 711-A Unit President Yonus Tessema said: "Cab drivers stayed with Frias because they knew that their seniority gave them preference in the bid order for shifts, and also taxi cabs. All of the drivers are immensely frustrated and were united in their rejection of the company's proposal." 

David Garrett, a Frias cab driver for 25 years said, "I have been a driver for the company for 25 years and I have earned my seniority.  I sure as hell don't want to give it up now."

The current USW labor agreement expired Sept. 11, but negotiations are proceeding under an extension agreement.  The drivers' vote on the contract proposal allows the drivers to continue working under the existing contract while talks proceed. The vote also gives the union negotiating committee authorization to call a strike.

USW Local 711A represents more than 3,000 cab and transit drivers for companies operating in Las Vegas. "We are the largest union of cab, limo and shuttle bus drivers in Las Vegas," Tessema said. The USW is also in negotiations for a first contract covering drivers at Western Cab Co. The USW represents cab drivers in other cities in the U.S. and Canada that include Boston and Hamilton, Ontario.

Contact: Julie Holzer, USW Staff Representative; 801-201-1512; jholzer@usw.org

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)



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