Striking French Cab Drivers Attack Uber Cars, Demand Government “See Things Their Way”

Poor Uber: the limo company has had its share of tribulations in the US over the past month, being accused periodically of price gouging when it implemented surge pricing during times of peak demand and lack of alternatives (and a very confused consumer, who naturally has the option of not paying the surge price if they feel insulted by it). However, this is nothing compared to the treatment the company that is a manifestation of pure capitalism at its rawest received in socialist France yesterday.

As Rudebaguette reported previously, a French taxi drivers strike turned ugly for none other than an Uber driver who was carrying Eventbrite CTO Renaud Visage & Kat Borlongan from the airport to Paris, when “he was attacked by multiple assailants, who allegedly, after smashing one window and slashing two tires (as seen in the photo), as well as defacing one side of the car with glue, attempted to enter the vehicle. Borlongan says their Uber driver manoeuvered the two out of the situation before anything could happen, leaving the three stranded on the shoulder of the freeway.”

This is what Kat Borlongan tweeted shortly after the incident:

And while strikes in socialist France are a daily thing, this one was different:

Taxi drivers today are protesting against the likes of Uber, and against what they consider to be a government that refuses to see things their way, according to an official press release. The only problem is that this protest comes less than a month after the French government caved in to the Taxi union demands to enforce the 15-minute law, not just for new users, as was originally intended, but for all users of Chauffeur apps.


It’s a question of credibility, according to Le Figaro’s Yann La Galès, who thinks the Taxis are looking to have their cake and protest the lack of the aforementioned cake, too.


Meanwhile, one Chauffeur App startup, Allocab, says it won’t take the protest, or the 15-minute law, lying down. According to Frenchweb, the startup is already pushing legal action through against the 15-minute law – we spoke last week about how the “law,” which actually is a Presidential decree, not voted on by the legistlative body, may be ruled invalid, due to the fact that decrees cannot take affect if they change the balance of competition – I think that’s an easy argument to make.

Shortly thereafter, Uber’s GM of France Pieter-Dimitry Gore-Coty had this comment:

“Uber strongly condemns this morning’s incident where two of our users and our driver were confronted with severe violence.


First, we are very glad all involved are safe and ok. Also, we would like to praise our partner who has shown great courage and professionalism, who focused on getting his customers out of a very challenging situation.


That the taxis chose to use violence is unacceptable, that they chose to strike is their business. However, Parisians also have a choice when it comes to moving around in their cities, and today’s incident will certainly not tempt Parisians into choosing a taxi for their next ride. Safety, reliability and choice, not violence, are what continues to draw customers towards VTCs.”

And some more recent updates from the French socialist vs capitalist taxi battleground:

  • A second incident of an Uber car being attacked by up to 20 men has been reported by Bertier Luyt, confirmed by Uber.
  • No less than a dozen confirmed incidents in Paris & Lyon, including “flat tires, eggs, broken windows,” confirms Uber.

So there you have it dear Uber: no matter how bad you think you may have it in the US, there is always France. Because sometimes socialism and capitalism just don’t mix…


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

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