Cab drivers protest at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center parking lot. (Chris "Boze" Anguay/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Hundreds of cab drivers took to Las Vegas Boulevard in protest on Friday, signaling another strike.
Drivers with Frias Transportation, the largest cab company in Las Vegas, are now striking. Yellow-Checker-Star cab drivers went on strike earlier this year.
Drivers said they're on strike not just because of treatment by their employer, but because of treatment by their own union. A seemingly endless streams of cabs pulled in the parking lot of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Friday afternoon.
Frias drivers, supported by striking Yellow-Checker-Star drivers, held what they called a freedom rally to protest what they called unfair working conditions, low wages and the high cost of health benefits.
"We want the public to know we are not the bad guys. We are the good guys. We have nowhere to go. We've been squeezed," said striking driver Tadios Tessema.
"$470 every two weeks for five days a week, 12 hours a day," said another driver, Joe Nojlander.
Steve Nigrelli has been a Frias driver for 10 years. He said he had no hesitation about going on strike, risking his job in the process.
"If I'm fired tomorrow morning, so be it. I didn't go home after work today for a reason – to be with these people that are struggling also," he said.
The rally later turned into a caravan, cabs driving single file to Frias headquarters, where the cabs were returned.
Striking drivers said they are unhappy with their union, United Steelworkers, who, drivers say, accepted a labor deal on March 11 without putting it to a vote.
"This is not the solution. We did not agree to it. The members did not vote on it. This is a contract between United Steelworkers and the company," Tessema said.
The drivers are calling on Frias to come back to the bargaining table.
Yellow-Checker-Star drivers went on strike on March 3 with the backing of their union.
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