National taxi strike to hit Spain

Taxi strike to hit next week

MALAGA cab drivers plan to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday, November 29.

Fedetaxi, Spain’s main taxi union, called the strike over the increase in private hire vehicles from companies including Uber and Cabify, accusing them of “unfair competition and piracy.”

Police in Malaga last month unearthed 118 illegal taxies. The 53 “pirate” cabs and 65 rental cars using a driver all lacked a licence to carry passengers.  Local Police officers foiled 44 of the “pirate” taxi drivers as they entered Malaga Airport, eight were found near the city’s bus station and one was located in the Alameda de Capuchinos.

Agents at Malaga Airport have carried out 120 vehicle check stops this year, checking a total of 2,035 vehicles and finding 173 which did not carry the correct licence.

A further taxi strike in Malaga in August turned ugly, leading to 10 arrests for coercion, property damage and assault. The five-day strike over private hire vehicles caused travel chaos in the city at one of the busiest times of the year.  Taxi drivers refused to work at Malaga Airport, instead sitting in their vehicles to protest the success of private taxi firm Cabify.  Holidaymakers were forced to seek alternatives means of transport to their hotels and rental homes, leaving some stranded late at night when their flights arrived after buses stopped running.

The strike came to an end after the Junta de Andalucia agreed a series of temporary proposals to control numbers. Union leaders explained they want the ratio of private hire cabs to taxis to reach 1:30, a figure the Junta described as “impossible.”

Five of those arrested during the strike were held over their alleged role in attacking Eduardo Martin, president of the VTC (private hire licence) association, who claimed 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 instigator of the attack, while the other four are suspected to have joined in.

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