‘Uber Obamovich, Go Home!’ say Moscow's taxi drivers to the American ride-hailing app threatening their livelihoods
Earlier this week, on Monday, September 7, a group of Moscow taxi drivers gathered together for a protest against the app-based, ride-hailing service Uber. Drivers say Uber's lower fares are a threat to their livelihoods, and demand that the company be investigated and prosecuted for "unfair competitive practices" that violate Russian law.
Moscow taxi drivers are also demanding reductions to the cost of their insurance policies, which cost roughly twice as much as the private insurance plans Uber drivers use.
More than 300 people were expected to attend the rally, but media reports put attendance closer to 50 taxi drivers. Demonstrators carried homemade signs taking aim at Uber as an American imposition. One sign read, "Uber Obamovich, Go Home!" and another read, "Lawmakers are making us into the slaves of mobile gadgets."
Drivers are also asking officials to introduce a formal penalty for failing to pay a taxi fare. Moscow employs more than 40,000 official taxi drivers, who say informally that clients skip out on the bill about five percent of the time.