Montreal Taxi Drivers Egg Uber Cars, Offices in “First Friendly Warning”

Taxi drivers in Montreal made it clear yesterday their fight against Uber will not be over easy, as they upped their protest by egging Uber cars and offices, leaving them scrambling for cover, reports the National Post.

Tensions boiled over and cracked when hundreds of taxi drivers protested in downtown Montreal, parking their taxis along Sherbrooke and René-Lévesque Blvd at rush hour to demand the Quebec government intervene against Uber, while also calling for Premier Philippe Couillard to resign. As taxi drivers spotted two UberX cars during their protest, a plan was hatched to pelt cars with eggs.

CBC News reports at one point, taxi drivers lured UberX drivers to the protest site by hailing them through the company’s smartphone app. When one driver showed up, he was ambushed with snowballs and eggs, with one hitting him in the face.

Uber’s Montreal offices were also targeted around lunchtime, as drivers parked their vehicles blocking off Richardson Street, honking horns and blowing air horns. This is when some started throwing a couple dozen eggs at the office, splashing doors over hard.

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Image via @JesseFeith

One taxi driver with a megaphone yelled “Uber, this is our first friendly warning,” despite employees coming outside pleading with the group to stop. Montreal police monitored the situation but did not intervene. Security guards locked office doors from the inside.

Uber protester Hassan Kattoua donned a sheriff’s badge and acknowledged the message being sent to the premier was clear:

“What you are doing, Mr. Couillard, is a scandal,” Kattoua said. “You remove one of your ministers (former transport minister Robert Poëti) and reduce his level to a deputy in order to pass your agenda of legalizing UberX. It doesn’t work with us. Over our dead bodies.”

Kattoua claims Uber has resulted in a 50 per cent decline in his business and his taxi permits have plummeted in value about $50,000 to $60,000, as UberX poaches his earnings.

“The mayor of Montreal sends a message to Uber to stop their service and they don’t even listen. We live in a banana republic.

“The law is clear. They have to apply the law and we don’t accept this commission because it’s biased in the favour of UberX,”

Uber spokesperson Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, condemned Wednesday’s actions by taxi drivers saying “We strongly condemn the violence and intimidation tactics used today by members of the taxi industry,” adding “The government has put in place a commission to hear the views of stakeholders and we believe that the best path forward will be found through dialogue, not violence.” The commission hopes to find a sunny side to the tense situation.

Just over a week ago, Montreal taxi drivers protested at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, as part of their “Uber hunt” against the ridesharing company.

Not sure what these taxi drivers are thinking, but throwing eggs won’t get the public to support you and understand the yolk of the matter. Time to hire a PR firm to nest up dozens of different strategies instead.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • This is an example of how to do it the right way! Good job. ???? *opens Uber app*

  • Eggcellent idea!

  • Robert

    While Uber is neat and all, I can understand where the cabbies are coming from. These rules, regulations and permits were imposed by local city officials and the government, yet Uber comes in and bypasses them all by claiming they are a “techno company”. Funny, now that many taxi companies have hailing apps, can they also skirt the laws and claim to be techno companies?

    Ultimately, the government will have to find a way to right the injustices and balance the scales… put Uber on the same playing field as cabbies. Everyone follow the same rules. Maybe then cabbies, Uber and any other that comes along can all just price war each other to the benefit of the consumer.

  • Matt

    “Tensions boiled over and cracked”
    “..a plan was hatched to pelt the cars”
    “Understand the yolk of the matter”

    Gary, stop scrambling up your article with puns…it makes things confusing 😉

  • Next time I’ll make sure it goes over easy for you 😛

  • Bafoon

    i love it. And Lol’ed so much. And I am harboring hard-boiled guilt, because I am taking delight at the misery of these beaten cabbies.

  • I was tired of walking on egg shells and finally I decided to get cracking.

  • Every time the public asked for better regulation of the taxi industry the industry responded with “We can self regulate. In a free market people will vote with their wallet”
    guess what, Uber is exactly that, the public voting with their wallet that they hate taxi drivers because of the years of fleecing us.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    i appreciated his appoach

  • When the laws are anti-competitive and create an awful and expensive service, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to disregard them in order to catalyze change. Which is exactly what is happening. In a democracy laws need to adapt to the desires of the people, not the other way around. The clearly people want Uber.

  • I just wanted to say all the brilliant puns made this informative article legitimately fun to read!

  • Vikram662

    Why aren’t these drivers getting arrested?

    If I egged people on the street, or stole their phones and smashed them, or attacked people’s cars, I’d be in jail.

    What gives?

  • gerry

    Eggactly!

  • Michal

    lets not eggsagerate here, it would be an eggsecise in eggstremes.
    happy FRY-day .. lol

  • Dominic Buteau

    Good puns and second Montréal’s mayor Denis Coderre shouldn’t be upset with Über. It is the choice of the investors as to what they want.

  • definingsound

    “Any expectation that the [taxi] medallion would function as a shield against the rapid technological advances of the modern world would not have been reasonable. In this day and age, even with public utilities, investors must always be wary of new forms of competition arising from technological developments.” – Queens Supreme Court Justice Alan Weiss