AROUND half of Malaga’s cabs turned up to work despite a strike.
The Costa del Sol Confederation of Taxis agreed half its fleet would continue to work across Malaga’s 11 municipalities, and in particular at the city’s airport.
The strike, which took place between 6am on Wednesday and 6pm yesterday (Thursday), also saw cabbies take to Madrid’s streets in protest over private hire firms. Unions agreed a minimum of 25 per cent of drivers would continue to work, although Malaga’s taxis decided to raise the amount to 50 per cent.
Jose Royon, president of the Costa del Sol Confederation of Taxis and the Malaga Unified Autonomous Association of Taxis, explained, “we cannot leave the city abandoned so wehave decided that half the fleet will be operational, which we think is enough to cover demand without any problems.”
Spain’s Supreme Court dealt a blow to cab drivers across Spain earlier this month when it granted 80 new private hire licences in Madrid, potentially opening the flood gates for up to 10,000 more across the country.
Fedetaxi, Spain’s main taxi union, called yesterday’s nationwide 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 chauffeured rental cars 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 over private hire vehicles 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. Tens of holidaymakers were left stranded as their flights landed after the last bus had left the airport and no taxis were running.