TWU Demonstration Against Uber Over Safety And Unfair Competition

Release date: 21/04/2015

The Transport Workers’ Union is calling on state governments across Australia to take action against Uber over safety fears for the public and unfair competition for taxi drivers.
TWU Media Release, 21 April 2015

The TWU is organising a protest in Perth today to highlight Uber’s operation which involves individuals picking up members of the public without the safety regulations required by taxi drivers. This includes cameras in cars, adequate police checks, training and insurance cover for professional drivers.
Tony Sheldon, TWU National Secretary and chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Road Transport Section, said Uber has created an imbalance for taxi drivers who follow these safety regulations and maintain their vehicles properly.
“Professional drivers who follow the regulations are being penalised because they are up against a company which is ignoring the state laws. The Uber drivers are themselves being exploited since they have no rights or protections. It is time governments across Australia put a stop to a company which is out to break their laws,” he said.
He added: “This company is devoid of business ethics – we saw this when it increased fares during the Lindt Chocolate CafĂ© siege in Sydney last December.”
The TWU has received letters of solidarity for the protest from the US Teamsters trade union and unions in Japan, Brazil and Belgium. The TWU has supported taxi drivers in North America, South America, India, South Korea and Belgium who are similarly being undercut by Uber’s unfair competition model.
Today’s protest will involve taxi drivers departing the domestic terminal rank at Perth Airport at 2pm local time and driving past the Department of Transport to Parliament House. Drivers will deliver a petition to the shadow minister for transport.
Perth-based taxi driver for 20 years Jonathan Masih says he and his colleagues are struggling because of Uber. “We stick to the rules but now we find we can’t pay bills. The government needs to stop turning a blind eye to what is going on,” he said.

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