Taxi drivers make negotiation progress

Taxi drivers make negotiation progress
83 cars currently have a licence to offer taxi services to between seven and nine people Photo credit: Flickr

FOLLOWING a city-wide taxi strike last month, Malaga Council has agreed a compromise with cabbies over multi-passenger taxis.

The council has agreed not to give licences to taxis with more than seven seats after it was claimed an increasing number of cabs were taking larger groups.  A study will now be commissioned into the impact of larger vehicles on Malaga’s 1,432 licenced taxi drivers and their users.

Currently 83 cars have a licence to offer taxi services to between seven and nine people, a figure which will now remain the same during a two-year moratorium on offering further licences for larger vehicles.

The move comes following negotiations between Malaga council and taxi drivers after cabbies went on a five-day strike in August over the use of private hire firm Cabify, prompting travel chaos.

The five-day industrial action over private hire vehicles came to an end after the Junta de Andalucia agreed a series of temporary proposals to control numbers. Unions are now waiting for further meetings with the Junta this month to push through permanent measures. Union leaders explained they want the ratio of private hire cabs to taxis to reach 1:30, a figure the Junta described as “impossible.”

The strike proved a source of tension throughout Malaga, leading to ten arrests. Five of those detained were held over their alleged role in attacking Eduardo Martin, president of the VTC (private hire licence) association, who claimed on Monday he was attacked by taxi drivers at Malaga Airport where he was giving a television interview about the strike. According to media reports, one of the five is considered to be the main insitigator of the attack, while the other four are suspected to have joined in.

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded at Malaga Airport during the strike after their planes landed after the last bus left.

The travellers emerged from the airport just after the bus service finished at around 1am, leaving them to stand with their luggage hoping for help to arrive.  According to media reports, one woman said, “some people started calling family or friends, but we don’t know what to do.”

Some passengers apparently started shouting at taxi drivers watching the scene with their lights off, telling them they should be doing something to help.

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