Striking cab drivers protest outside convention center - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Striking cab drivers protest outside convention center

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For the third straight day, striking taxi cab drivers demonstrated outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.

They are hoping the disruption at one of the city's largest conventions will get their voice heard.

This strike has been going on for more than a month, and this week the focus was on convention traffic, with more than 90,000 people in town for the National Association of Broadcasters.

Using bullhorns, chants and noisemakers, striking cab drivers raised the ante in their dispute with Yellow Checker Star and Frias.

The drivers are looking for what they call a fair wage and better working conditions.

"We're the ambassador of the city, as they call us, because we're the first ones to greet the conventioneers and the tourists," said striking cab driver Ermias Aboye. "How come nobody is hearing us right now? So we need to raise our voices and let the people hear us."

"I started driving in 1976 up in Reno, and I've driven in other cities," said striking cab driver Michael Reid. "I can tell you this is the worst city in the country for a cab driver. They treat you like garbage. They treat you like you're nothing."

After physically stopping taxis at the convention center Monday, Metro had a larger presence Tuesday and arrested 15 people, taking them to jail before citing and releasing them.

"The majority of those are people not obeying the traffic control devices at the crosswalks," said Metro Capt. Todd Fasulo. "What they specifically do is when they go to cross the street, they will wait, and the light will turn red, and then they still go out into the street in an attempt to stand in front of certain vehicles and conduct their protest."

"Common process on a simple jaywalking is a ticket," said arrested cab driver Mark Muller. "You sign the ticket and agree to show up in court. Not this time. They went full force. They wanted to make an example of a situation that they felt got out of control the prior day."

Metro says more than 100 officers were on hand Wednesday, and there were no arrests or citations.

Cab drivers say they don't plan on protesting Thursday on the last day of the convention, but their demonstrations will not stop until a deal is done.

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