Montreal Taxis Plan “Uber Hunt”, Will Strike and Setup Blockades Today

The fight against UberX in Montreal is ramping up by local taxi drivers, as today they plan to strike and form blockades against Uber drivers, in what is being called an “Uber hunt” against the ridesharing service, seen as a disruptor in the cabbie industry. Blockades will begin around 6:30AM, according to Regroupment des travailleurs autonomes metallos (RTAM).

RTAM-Métallos spokesman Benoît Jugand, told the National Post yesterday the union—which represents 4,000 taxi drivers—will setup “blockades” by roaming taxi squads in unspecified areas of Montreal where UberX drivers pick up and drop off passengers.

Jugand says the pressure tactic is necessary as Quebec has failed to honour its “simple demand to have Uber cease operations during the parliamentary commission looking into the matter.”

Jacques Daoust, Quebec’s new transport minister, said last week Uber and other sharing economy companies are “here to stay” and issued a parliamentary commission to examine how to level the playing field between cabbies and ride-hailing apps like Uber.

In the clip below, last week, two Montreal taxi drivers took matters into their own hands against UberX, by smashing an Uber driver’s iPhone in front of TV cameras. Hassan Kattoua, an independent driver, can be seen wearing a sheriff’s costume in the video and with another driver, grabbed the UberX driver’s iPhone and smashed it with a hammer.

Kattoua says he paid $160,000 for his taxi licence in 2003, but has seen that previously coveted taxi medallion plummet in value because of UberX.

Youri Chassin, an economist with the Montreal Economic Institute, said “We are faced with a situation that is really tense,” noting how “The uncertainty and the cost incurred by the taxi drivers, who are really losing business (to Uber), has escalated.”

Xavier Van Chau, a spokesman for Uber Canada, told CBC News they have informed Montreal UberX drivers to be careful today and to stay calm if confronted by angry taxi drivers:

“What we’ve seen across Canada is, generally, intimidation tactics don’t bear fruit,” he said. “We’ve seen protests in Edmonton and in Toronto and in Quebec in the past, and I don’t think Canadians see this kind of activity favourably.”

Toronto taxi drivers are also planning their own protests during NBA All-Star Weekend, in an attempt to gain publicity for the plight of their industry due to UberX.

Blocking rush hour traffic is not going to win the taxi industry any friends. I’m not sure what their PR teams are thinking with these stunts, as they most likely will just drive people towards UberX, instead of away from it.

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  • Bafoon

    Lol @ taxi sheriff

  • Harold Mitchell

    Would love to see criminal charges laid…assault (section 264.1 of the Criminal Code), kidnapping (Section 279.1 (1a)), mischief (Section 430 (1a))

  • Best way to upset the “already upset” clients…
    Tips for all the taxi drivers….. instead of this and spending so much efforts on that…, try to respect the new ethic code for all the taxi drivers in Mtl and clean your car, dress properly, open the doors, accept credit cards and…. please…. please… improve your social / customer services skills….And maybe you might win your clients back!

  • Jay

    YES! its a freaking witch hunt

  • Jay

    Not going to make me want to use a taxi -_-

  • Jay

    And uber drivers dont care, everything that happens is covered…
    Just makes the taxi drivers look bad to the general public

  • just another customer

    taxi drivers already look bad, this just adds on.

    took a ride recently with uber to the airport, cost me $15. same ride that i took with taxis before for $30+.
    clean car, pleasant driver…. and i paid it all electronically without taking my wallet out. sorry cabbies…. you’re behind the times.

  • JS

    Taxi Sheriff hahaha what a joke. On top of it he openly, on VIDEO, steals and smashes a guys private cell phone. How stupid can you really be?

  • shaking_my_head

    they sure showed that uber driver!! lol

  • Honestly did not think it was real until I saw the video

  • definingsound

    Kidnapping of an iPhone?

  • Anthony ?

    I cannot wait for the day when the taxi industry succeeds in killing themselves off by spending all their time fighting progress instead of evolving to meet the challenge posed by ride sharing services. Regardless of the debate about Insurance, or wages, or whatever, Uber is miles ahead of the taxi industry when it comes to the end user experience, and that’s what it all boils down to in the end.

    Uber = a pleasant experience in a generally clean vehicle with a friendly driver. Taxi = shitty experience in a shitty car with a shitty driver who doesn’t give a shit.

    So, yeah…

  • Harold Mitchell

    Check out the definition of kidnapping…

    279 (1) Every person commits an offence who kidnaps a person with intent

    (a) to cause the person to be confined or imprisoned against the person’s will;

    If protesting cab drivers blockade Uber driver’s preventing them from escaping then the definition applies.

  • John

    What is this gang members attacking people and its civilians this is getting really outrageous and disgusting and police should get involved

  • Hassan Kattoua

    Howdy fellows, am the Taxi Sheriff
    Do you guys actually believe everything you see on tv? All my operations were real though,except this one….
    Think my friends think
    There was 3 actors in this movie…Did u enjoy it?
    I worked with uber Taxi before and i will have no trouble working with them again,but not when they are killing my business with their uberx service that employs anyone meaning my permit that cost me a fortune will be worth nothing….
    Think my friends,your job is next