Taxi drivers have gone on strike at Kuching International Airport in protest against Uber and GrabCar ride-sharing services, according to Bernama. The taxi drivers’ protest, which began yesterday, however did not affect the airport’s flight operations, said Kuching International Airport senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim.

“The taxi service was affected since this morning as there was no taxi operating in KIA and passengers had to to use other means of transportation such as Uber, Grab service or call their family members to pick them up here,” he said.

The protesting drivers said that they are not sure how long the strike will last, Nadzim said after the airport made contact with the Kuching Taxi Owners Federation on when the drivers would resume operations. The protest was held at the compound of the old tate Legislative Assembly building in Petra Jaya where approximately 200 taxi drivers gathered to submit a memorandum in protest of the ride-sharing services.

The memorandum was addressed to Sarawak chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and appealed for fair and healthy competition so that taxi drivers’ livelihood was not affected by the alternative (ride-sharing) service, said group spokesman Abdul Rahman Ahmad.

“There are many things that are unfair, taxi drivers are subject to various conditions and charges for picking up passengers while GrabCar and Uber drivers are given a lot of flexibility,” said Abdul Rahman, who is also vice president of Kuching Division Bumiputera Taxi Association.

Uber commenced its services in Kuching in September 2016, while GrabCar joined the fray in March last year. Taxi drivers have voiced their displeasure with ride-sharing service providers before, centred around the Klang Valley.