Canberra’s Sikh taxi drivers to strike over Uber

Canberra, Sep 14 (IANS) A number of Sikh taxi owners and drivers in the Australian capital are planning to go on a strike on Wednesday to protest the arrival of ride-sharing company Uber in the city.

“We do not want to say (Uber) should not come to Canberra, because anyone is welcome here, but we want to know how we will be looked after when they do arrive,” The Canberra Times quoted the city’s Sikh Taxi Drivers Association chairman Jagjit Singh as saying.

The strike is set to last between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. across the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Singh said that about 200 drivers are expected to participate in a peaceful protest at the ACT legislative assembly, subject to police approval.

“We are paying thousands in registration, insurance and other fees each month, and Uber drivers do not have the burden of those costs. We do not think the public know how much taxis have to pay,” he said.

One of the drivers participating in the strike, Gurkirpal Singh, said he was worried Uber would result in job losses. He has been driving taxis in the Australian Capital Territory for nine years.

According to the daily, Uber’s general manager David Rohrsheim has claimed more than 3,000 Canberrans have applied to become partner drivers.

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