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Why former hire car driver Rod Barton started a major class action against Uber

A class action against Uber will be lodged in the Supreme Court today, seeking compensation for the harm caused to taxi drivers when the ride share company began operating in Australia.

More than 6000 taxi, limo and hire car drivers are involved in the legal case, which argues that Uber operated illegally.

Rod Barton, a former hire car driver and Transport Matters Party MP, began planning for the legal battle against the ride share provider three years ago.

He told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that Uber has ruined the lives of many professional drivers, himself included.

“I lost my home,” he said.

“It’s a mess out there Neil, no one is making any money.

“Touting is out of control. We’ve got drivers fighting in the streets.”

Mr Barton said he’s “a little bit emotional today”, as the long planned class action finally begins.

“It’s been a battle for us. We’ve been attacked personally over the last three years,” he said.

“I want compensation for the 6000 people, but for me I want validation,” the former hire car driver told Neil Mitchell.

Press PLAY below to hear Rod Barton’s emotional interview with Neil Mitchell.

The class action lodged today is one of the biggest class actions ever seen in Australia.

Mr Barton said he expects the payout to be substantial.

“We certainly think it’s going to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.