Toronto Cabbies End Hunger Strike Against Uber, One Sent to Hospital

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According to the The Globe And Mail, three Toronto cab drivers started a hunger strike at City Hall on Wednesday, to force action against Uber. The protestors initially vowed to eat nothing but water, but with police swooping in hours to dismantle their tent, the task became even tougher, leaving them shivering on mats in Nathan Phillips Square. “They’re not letting us set up a tent, so we would have to just stay here with the blankets over ourselves overnight,” said protester Danny Ryan at the time.

“They are supporting an illegal enterprise operating within Canada and … they’re taking the tent down to diminish our sustainability to stay here and continue our hunger strike.” 

Earlier this week, the mayor had urged the hunger strikers to rethink their protest. “I’m assured that the officials are working on [the reforms] as quickly as they possibly can,” he said during a midday press conference.

“They are getting lots of encouragement from me to do it as quickly as possible, and I would just hope that maybe these drivers will reconsider the hunger strike, cause it’s not going to allow us to speed up the process of developing regulations.”

However, the protestors continue to brand Uber an outlaw that would drive them out of business, and when asked whether their fight rose to the seriousness of other causes that had employed hunger strikes, one protester said, ““John Tory is treating us as slaves. The mayor is supporting an illegal actor in this country”.

While the protestors vow to remain until their message has been heeded, Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat tweeted this morning the hunger strike had ended, with one cabbie taken to the hospital by paramedics.

Protests continued on after the hunger strike ended, as cabbies entered City Hall and chanted “Uber must go” and “Mayor must go”, as they marched around inside the building’s rotunda.

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  • Nick Cameron Greene

    Boo fucking hoo. Uber wouldn’t be so popular if taking a cab wasn’t so expensive/dangerous/inefficient. If uber is illegal, then maybe the fix is to legalize it instead of trying to crush it. I guess a monopoly never welcomes competition.

  • Bafoon

    so…does this mean that less of these cabbies on the road, hence downtown roads are safer, less noisy and more disciplined. NICE! Balling through the roads of DT this weekend y’all~~

  • I had no idea they were even doing a hunger strike. At least they’re saving food for those who need it more.
    The people on strike in general, I care not. Their choice.

  • Mr Dog

    People need to stop hating so much on these drivers. They are just that, drivers that need to find a way to make a living.

    It is the Plate owners and City that needs to step up and fix this problem

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Here in BC the majority of cabbies are South Asian & their cabs are far from what one would expect or hope for. The cabs here are not kept up, you have to endure a radio station in their mother tongue (with no regard to the paying customer) & when you arrive they look at you (if you have luggage) like “you want me to get that?”. The death of this industry can’t come soon enough for me. Perhaps they need to adapt to their customers’ wants instead of their need to maintain their dilapidated & antiquated business model!

  • Bafoon

    we’ll stop hating – when these morons stop making themselves such easy gimme targets.

    Seriously, what is this India, that a hunger strike is being used to manipulate an outcome? Eff off.

    The cabbies are either dumb enough to be manipulated by the so called plate owners; or are dumb enough to think fast track bullying the city will yield favourable results.

    Either way – I’m sitting here with my popcorn munching away, having a ball. And when I run out of butter – I’ll call an uber to take me to the closest convenience store.

  • Mr Dog

    Lol racist and ignorant in one post, lovely.

    It doesn’t take much to google, the real situation and educate yourself a little bit.

    And the so called strike clearly helped, as no one even knew about one. I didn’t atleast, and now more people know and why they did it.

    What exactly is your solution? Just keep eating popcorn and hope it solves it self?

  • Bafoon

    lol you wannabe-PC cry-baby – does everything boohoo you? Does the California shootings recently also seem racist and ignorant?

    Being an indian myself – I fair well know the BS and emotional manipulations that happen in India especially through hunger strikes. And it works – because there are fools who give into it. Hence they want to bring this ill-gotten practice here. So – both your contrived observations are worthless – those calling me racist and ignorant. So yeah cry me a river.

    And solution? Solution to what? Solution to bringing in market competition in an industry so incredibly steeped in bureaucracy and non-conformance. In a customer service industry – where the customer is only a cha-ching dollar sign; and service is so lacking and laughably non-existent?


  • Mr Dog

    That is the thing thought, your putting the blame on these cab drivers that have nothing to do with the bureaucracy, or how they compete. They just punch in and out, have no control over anything while the people that do control all this are likely doing their political part to make sure Uber doesn’t succeed.

    All the problems you have with this industry has nothing to do with the cab drivers but the people these cab drivers work for.

  • Bafoon

    wrong wrong and wrong.

    The cabbies have absolutely to take share of the blame their industry lies in.

    Where was the hunger strike and gun slinging against these so called bureaucrats and plate owners?

    As I said, the cabbies are either being manipulated to run a stunt of this nature – which is stupid. Or they are running it out of free will, which means it has nothing to do with plate and company owners. Either or the cabbies had a say – FOR YEARS – to correct this business and improve practices, and they did nothing. So now they are paying for their indifference.

    And here’s a bit of thinking for you…

    The license plate or agencies don’t know the cab taking customer
    The city bureaucrat doesn’t know the cab taking customer
    The mayor, political leaders all turn their blind eye to keep what is working, working. They don’t know the cab taking customer

    You know who knows the customer. Because he/she interacts with the customer on a daily basis!! The cabbies!!! And yet, they chose to ignore the customer – refusing fare when raining; rash driving; city-tour for fare driving; speaking to friend over their headset driving etc. So now they’re going hungry….

  • Mr Dog

    Your giving them to much credit.

    Most cabbies have no idea about the big picture and just want to make their $. They are the ones that are suffering the most from Uber but they have no control over it or any idea what to do.

    Yes the cabbies interact with customers daily but again they have no power. It is like screaming at a cashier at Wall-Mart for trying to push their master card every time. They have no choice or any way or changing what they do.

    If you start making less money because of another competitor, and the only way to get back is to change the way you do things but your boss says nope, keep doing what your doing what are you suppose to do?

    Yes they are fighting a stupid fight and they clearly don’t know what to do. But we should be complaining to the City and Cab companies for not updating the way they do business.

  • Bafoon

    again, I absolutely disagree with you.

    The choices cabbies needed to make have nothing to do with the legislative and regulatory nature of the cab industry. Here are some quick pointers on items they did (and continuously do so):

    – drive with care and FOLLOW the rules. Far too long they got away with it because there was no way to review and rate a individual drivers performance. And they knew their administrative office didn’t give a hoot about complaints.
    – treat customers with honesty and respect – don’t refuse fares to go hunting for the best valued fare when its pouring of snowing. Don’t lie and cheat customers by telling them CC machine is broken (all the time) and that its got to be cash.
    – keep vehicle decorum by not talking to friend in native languages.

    these are just to name a few. The bottom line is that people fed up with the taxi mafia and are happy to embrace ANYTHING that is an alternative. It just so happens the alternative is in the form of a blonde bombshell (are you going to play race card again?) in UBER!!

  • Bafoon

    the word I was searching for in the previous post was – ACCOUNTABILITY.

    The taxi dispatch and plate ownership lack of accountability lead them to live in this bubble draconian industry.

    The cabbies lack of accountability lead them to lose trust and potentially a huge customer base to the next best thing.