London, June 25 (ANI): French taxi drivers have reportedly brought Paris to a standstill by blocking roads to the capital city’s airports and the main ring road in a protest against US international transportation network company Uber.
The drivers burnt tyres and erected blockades as part of a countrywide strike, prompting riot police to fire tear gas at some, reported the BBC.
Aeroports de Paris, the operator of the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly airports, urged passengers to travel by train as the access by roads was completely blocked.
The taxi drivers, who are required to pay thousands of Euros for a licence, claimed that they were being unfairly undercut by Uber, which is not licensed by the authorities.
Abdelkader Morghad, a representative of the FTI taxi union, said that France’s licensed drivers have lost between 30 to 40 percent of their income over two years due to the growth of Uber. He added that they wanted that the Thevenoud law, which banned unlicensed drivers, to be implemented and added that authorities lacked political will to do it.
The legislation, which took effect in October, banned services that put passengers in touch with unregistered drivers. Uber has appealed against the rule, saying it gives licensed taxis an unfair advantage.
The taxi-hailing service has been expanding its UberPOP ride-sharing service in France despite objections from the government.
Almost 500 legal cases have been filed against the firm’s UberPOP service by prosecutors.
The company is enmeshed in legal tussles in several cities across the world, including New Delhi. (ANI)