"If I see you again, you are dead meat," a Canadian cabbie told an Uber driver in a profanity-laced rant that went viral on YouTube last week. (The video has since been taken down.) "Go follow the law and get a real job," he shouted. Ottawa police say they're investigating the incident.
Ottawa's cab union organized a protest at City Hall on Wednesday. Union President Amrit Singh told reporters that his members "believe in peace," but that the city must crack down on the rapidly expanding e-hail service. His main concern isn't that Uber is "hurting taxi drivers," he assured them with a straight face; it's that the e-hail service is "hurting the public."
Here are some more highlights of the week from the global Uber wars:
- On Tuesday, Uber argued before France's Constitutional Council that a law criminalizing UberPop, its lower-cost ridesharing service, is both unconstitutional and selectively enforced. In June, France's two top Uber executives were indicted on criminal charges for their roles with the company and face a two-year prison sentence.
- Also on Tuesday, the government turned down Uber's bid to operate legally in Delhi, India, though the company continued running without acknowledging the decision. "Uber remains committed to serving the Delhi community and we continue to work closely with the Delhi authorities to address any concerns they have," a spokesperson told TechCrunch. One of those concerns is that Uber is too cheap: The company would need to jack its fares 43 percent to comply with a government-mandated price floor.
- On Wednesday, about 300 Danish cab drivers parked their vehicles in Christiansborg Slotsplads, a public square in Copenhagen, to protest Uber's presence in the city. "They earn more money for driving customers than allowed," Søren Nikolaisen, the chairman of an industry group told reporters.
- Also on Wednesday, cab drivers rallied in front of the Manhattan office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). "There is a great tradition of exploitation in the yellow cab industry, and Uber is the latest facet of it," retired cabbie Bill Lindauer told amNewYork. "I am concerned the yellow taxi might just evaporate from New York City," said medallion owner Max Yaloz.
For more on the "evaporating" yellow taxi, watch my recent Reason TV story, "Uber and the Great Taxicab Collapse:"