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Taxi Strike Against Uber Fills Streets Across Spain With Stationary Cabs

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A taxi strike protesting ridehailing apps like Uber is clogging cities across Spain. Basically, the taxi drivers in major cities across the country are taking their cabs to major roads, bus stations, train stations, and airports and just parking.

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In a statement, the Spanish taxi driver union said, “Uber and Cabify are putting the viability of the taxi sector and 130,000 jobs at risk…The union considers this unfair competition intolerable.” Clearly, Spanish taxi drivers, like taxi drivers across the world, are not fond of Uber (or Cabify, which is a similar service).

In particular, they are complaining that Uber and Cabify drivers aren’t respecting the current law limiting their drivers with one ride-hailing license for every 30 taxi licenses. Apparently, ride-hailing permits can transfer from driver to drivers.

Things seemed to be looking up for taxi interests when Barcelona passed an ordinance to limit Uber and similar companies’ abilities to operate. However, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, which thought that the rule encroached on national transportation powers, put this regulation on hold.

Following that decision, the taxi strike began in Barcelona. It quickly spread, and now extends to parts like Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla, Valencia, Alicante, Zaragoza, and La Rioja.

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Most recently, in an attempt to appease the striking taxi drivers, Spanish government officials offered to transfer licensing powers to regional governments. However, taxi representatives declined, saying this would just extend the problem to 17 regions rather than just fixing it.

Meanwhile, the taxi drivers are pretty much hanging out. That is, except for some particularly angry drivers who surrounded and attacked Uber and Cabify vehicles in Barcelona, others who egged Uber drivers in Madrid, and other incidents.

News Sources: Reuters, El País, Jalopnik