A group of about 40 angry Hailo drivers vandalised the car startup’s office in London.
Drivers vandalised the office with the word “scabs” and “judas,” BBC reports. The police showed up after a fight broke out.
Hailo lets you order a car from your smartphone, just like Uber. But cab drivers are angry because Hailo is opening up its service to private hire cars, BBC reports.
“Things turned a little bit nasty, punches were thrown and the police were called,” Head of the London Taxi Drivers’ Association Steve McNamara told BBC.
Drivers were also deleting the app and “queing up” to get the Hailo sticker removed from their cars, BBC reports.
As of now, the service is available exclusively only to licensed taxi drivers, who are responsible for paying the cost of the licence. If the changes go through, minicabs, town cars, limos, and other “private hire vehicle” drivers can apply to be Hailo drivers. In the U.K., there is less regulation on private hire vehicles, hence the frustration of licensed cab drivers.
“When you’ve known these guys for as long as I have and knocked yourself out trying to build ‘their dream’ for the benefit of the taxi trade, could you really sit back and bite your lip?” one driver told SuberCabby.
“Don’t know if I could. I know their financial masters call the shots, but I (like most of us) am not for sale, never have been, never will be.”
Last week, Hailo sent an open letter to London taxi drivers, in which it warns that cab drivers are losing their livelihoods because people are moving to other apps.
“There is no point burying our heads in the sand – people want a choice and taxis need to be in the mix,” Hailo cofounder Ron Zeghibe wrote on Hailo’s blog. “A taxi-only app will get isolated and customers will take their money to services without any cabs on offer.”
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