A Brisbane taxi industry veteran and company owner has apparently called for violence against competing service Uber in a social media post.
A Facebook account, thought to be that of Complete Taxi Management’s Greg Collins, encouraged cabbies to “get more militant” against the drivers of the ride-sharing service.
“They won’t and can’t defend themselves they are illegal. If it was 30 years ago in my time, they wouldn’t last five minutes,” a message from the account said on the Brisbane Taxi Drivers Facebook page, in response to a taxi driver’s post with allegations he had been assaulted by an Uber driver.
“We need to get more militant about this issue. The (sic) are the f***ing scabs stealing what we have all worked for.”
In the same post, the account also allegedly admitted to violence against an Uber driver, but Mr Collins later told The Brisbane Times it was “a joke”.
“I’ve never slapped an Uber driver in my life, we were mucking around,” he said.
“It’s not true, I don’t break the law.
“I spoke to an Uber driver but I don’t want to elaborate, they are illegal.”
The ride-sharing service has attracted the ire of taxi drivers, who believe it is pricing them out of the market.
Uber markets itself as an on-demand service, “easier than a taxi and often cheaper”.
It has sparked protests across Australia and the world.
In London, taxi drivers brought traffic to a stand-still in a protest that accused the government of failing to put out clear policy on services based on apps which presented a “real and present danger” to the industry, according to The Guardian.
Protests in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney in September called for regulation of the service.
But not all objections have been peaceful – two Uber drivers were allegedly assaulted by the same five men in separate incidents in Brisbane on Monday.
The attack was believed to be motivated by anger at the service.