Taxi drivers plan anti-Uber march in Hong Kong, threatening citywide protest if calls for will not be met
In a joint letter to the business, the Motor Transport Staff Basic Union and the Taxi Drivers & Operators Affiliation have referred to as for 300 cabbies to affix a protest deliberate for January 15 on the Chief Government’s Workplace in Admiralty.
The 2 taxi teams declared that, via undercover operations over the previous few months, that they had uncovered about 800 circumstances of Uber drivers illegally plying their commerce, and reported 100 of them to police.
The organisations plan to submit the 800 circumstances to Chief Government Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and the Government Council earlier than marching to the Division of Justice to name for fast prosecution within the 100 reported circumstances and immediate police investigations into the remaining.
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They threatened to escalate their battle right into a citywide protest if the federal government didn’t reply to their name inside per week.
“Since Uber has entered Hong Kong’s market, the revenue of taxi drivers has dropped drastically. It’s time for us to kick Uber out from Hong Kong,” the letter learn.
“We’ll demand that the chief government give us a response inside one week … if there isn’t a response after that, we might escalate our actions to the entire business to protest in opposition to the federal government’s inaction for strangling the taxi business.”
Affiliation chairman Wong Yat-fung mentioned the teams would maintain a press convention at a later date to substantiate the main points of their actions.
“The unlawful ride-hailing firms are like a ticking time bomb to street security as a result of they’re unregulated, with out hire-car permits,” he mentioned.
“The taxi business is dealing with daunting challenges as a result of many taxi drivers have switched to working for these unlawful corporations … We have to handle this downside.”
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A police spokeswoman mentioned officers have been following up on a referral from a transport business organisation on about 100 circumstances of unlawful carriage of passengers for rent or reward.
“A police investigation is ongoing, and prosecution motion will probably be taken if there’s ample proof,” she mentioned.
Uber has struggled to get a break in Hong Kong, the place a inhabitants of greater than 7 million is served by 18,163 licensed taxis and about 40,000 drivers. The federal government has stood agency in cracking down on Uber regardless of calls from the Client Council to legalise ride-hailing companies.
In July final yr, 28 Uber drivers have been convicted and fined for unlawful carriage, following a landmark courtroom ruling in March 2017 that concluded there was no vital distinction between Uber drivers and pirate taxis recognized regionally as pak pai. 5 different drivers have been consequently fined HK$10,000 (US$1,275) every and banned from the street for a yr, within the first convictions of their type in Hong Kong.
Nevertheless, the beleaguered taxi business is grappling with an ageing workforce and a nasty popularity as a consequence of mounting complaints over the conduct of cabbies, who’ve been accused of overcharging, taking unnecessarily lengthy routes and cherry-picking or refusing fares.
A supply accustomed to the state of affairs mentioned that in current months some Uber drivers had been summoned by police for investigations about their ride-hailing operations, however no additional motion had been taken in opposition to them.
“I don’t suppose the Uber drivers are simply deterred by police investigations or undercover actions by the business. They’re properly conscious of the authorized dangers earlier than they work for the agency,” the supply mentioned.