Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cabbies in the news.

A well organized demonstration against the constant influx of medallions the Taxicab Authority grants (and its subsequent negative impact on drivers' income) took place yesterday. Drivers numbering in the hundreds wished to be heard and parked their cabs blocking lanes of traffic on Las Vegas Blvd and Fashion Show Lane in front of the old Frontier site.

Generally, these movements don't really get very far. To call it an uphill battle would be the biggest understatement of the year. Drivers are just pawns in a much bigger money game that stretches from the Governors office to the TaxiCab Authority. From the Don to the soldier. With odds like these stacked against you, you'd be a fool for taking the flag and running with it. I mean talk about all time wastes of time. However if drivers do decide to take on the powers that be with the limited resources that they have, it requires a little bit of gorilla warfare. One Battle of Puebla at a time.

However I for one, did not participate in the demonstration.

I've actually never participated in such an event. My problem is with the unions as much as it is with the TA and the medallion owners. The owners want more cabs...Of course. That's their best interest. Obviously, that's exactly the opposite of what the drivers want to see happen. More cabs + same number of passengers = less rides per cab. But the unions, who claim to represent the drivers and speak on their behalf at the medallion allocation hearings (and other pertinent TA/Drivers meetings), actually have a glaring conflict of interest in my mind....

Like anything of the sort, unions simply want your money. Their loyalty towards you runs dry quickly thereafter. Religion, government...unions. Realize that the union, who supposedly is arguing for you against more medallions, actually stands to benefit from the opposite. You read that right. Think about it. More medallions for the owners means more drivers they have to staff, the more drivers they have to staff means the MORE POTENTIAL UNION MEMBERS there are. I find it really hard to believe that an origination who purchased a billboard in town to encourage (more)membership, as well as other advertising methods with the same purpose, are really speaking as loudly as they should against more medallions.

We're actually paying these people to fuck us. Am I the only one that sees this? Pay those dues buddy, and don't drop the soap.

That said, kudos to the drivers that did take the time out of their night to stand up for all of us. You were as undermanned as you were underfunded but perhaps you've helped us to fend off those French bastards for one more night.

CABBY RALLY: Cabbies say tips dwindling


Christina RN LMT said...

I often feel, when I see people protesting whatever, that they're just spitting in the wind.

There's no massage therapists' union, for which I am grateful, though I do belong to a professional organization, AMTA, for the liability insurance they offer (and the networking, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Gklad to see you back in action. This is better than morning coffe.

Anonymous said...

WOW! As a fellow driver I read this "Chronicle" with some trepidation. But as I continued on I was truly stunned by your excellent point regarding the unions. In all my stumblings via the web, I have not come across nor thought of it myself. Can I quote you?

Anonymous said...

French bastards like your blog nonetheless. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

This should not be a protest against more cabs but rather a protest for cleaner cabs. I have been in several dozen over the years and they have all been disgusting. Maybe there also should be a cabbie dress code regulation with proper hygeine enforcement. No sterotype just the truth.

MrFunkMD said...

I have little doubt that if drivers could own their own cabs they would be much more interested in the upkeep of them. As it stands now, drivers don't own the cars and in many cases are driving different cabs everyday and thus, feel no figurative or literal ownership of the vehicle.

Personally, I always keep my cab clean. Granted this is simplified for me because I drive the same vehicle everyday, plus I don't smoke. But in reality, I discovered long ago that hacking with a clean cab inside and out, can do wonders for your tips. This is something that people appreciate and will throw you an extra bone or two for.

"No stereotype just the truth."

Right...that's not stereotypical at all.

MrFunkMD said...

..and in case you're dense: that last bit was sarcasm. ;)

Anonymous said...

You should have just let this blog die with class.

I loved your writing, the people, the stories, the fact that there was always going to be something interesting and light to read.

You can't imagine how little I care about social politics half way around the world.

You talent is in retelling interesting real life events and stories. Can we have the old LVCC back?

C in Ottawa Canada

Anonymous said...

C in Ottawa, is Andrew just not performing to your expectations? You, that don't care about "Social politic's half way around the world" God forbid that he blogs about something going on in his world that doesn't entertain you. He really just should have quit blogging before he bored us with that bit of reality, right?
The sad truth is that Cab drivers in Las Vegas are so very indivualistic, that only a very small percentage of them would be the ones to actually do something like the rally. 80% wouldn't get involved,some for fear of their jobs, some for lack of time (12 hour shifts,6 days a week) some because they are only doing this until something better comes along. Some because they don't want to get involved. Some because they just don't give a shit, about this, or anything else. And yes, some drivers that think 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week, no paid holidays, or sick leave is way better than it was in Somalia, Bosnia, Uragay, or Ethiopia. These fucking American cab drivers just don't know how good they have it!! But C in Ottawa is bored by the socio politico shit. Just tell us funny stories Andrew!

MrFunkMD said...

C in Ottawa said:

"You can't imagine how little I care about social politics half way around the world."

And you can't imagine how little I care about what some no-tipping Canadian thinks.