Taxi drivers across Spain are on a strike against the cab-hailing services such as Uber once again, as per reports. It was back in July that they went on a strike demanding the government to bring in more stringent regulations on such services. They claim such cab-hailing services as unfair competition.
In Barcelona, an indefinite strike was announced on Friday. And, the taxi drivers used their vehicles to block Gran Via in Madrid. The protest went on throughout the weekend and is still on.
The strike has been called off in Barcelona after the Catalan government came up with proposals to regulate the VTC (vehicle for hire) sector. It includes a wait time of 15 minutes between booking a cab and being able to take a ride. But the taxi drivers want this wait time to be extended to at least 24 hours.
A report by Huffington Post claims that a Cabify car was attacked by protestors making the driver suffer a panic attack. It was stated that police used cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres to help him. It was also reported by AP that the police arrested seven people for causing violence. Following such incidences, Elite Taxi BCN, one of the associations that backs the strike shared a video of its spokesman Alberto Álvarez asking protestors to remain peaceful.
Uber and Cabify services still on
Back in July 2018, the cab-hailing services had halted their services on a temporary basis in the city. But this time, their services are still on. In the summer, the taxi strike came to an end after the government accepted to transfer regulatory competency for the VTC sector. But the taxi war seems to have not ended.
Pressure due to Mobile World Congress
Given that the annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow is all set to take place in Barcelona next month, this strike in the taxi industry has put authorities under pressure. The strike against the app-based taxi services might cause trouble to around 100,000 techies visiting the city to attend the tradeshow.
As it might paralyse the city economically and politically, we need to wait for a few more days to know the result of this strike. One thing that is known is that if the proposed waiting limits are imposed, then scores of drivers will be put out of work.
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