Madrid Taxi Drivers vote to call off strikes after 16 days of demonstrations against ride-hailing ap
Taxi drivers in Madrid have called off their strike after 16 days of protests. The demonstrations which gridlocked streets for hours came to an end after taxi drivers narrowly voted for the strike to end. The action to bring the streets of Madrid to a standstill began 16 days ago as taxi drivers attempted to put pressure on those in power to regulate private hire vehicles, specifically those used by ride-hailing firms like Uber and Cabify, known as VTC’s. As reported in El Pais, a total of 20,961 drivers from the sector were asked to vote on a decision on whether or not the strike should continue. A total of 7,843 put their votes forward, with around 54% of those voting in favour of the demonstrations to end. The voting took place on Tuesday 5 at the taxi stand outside Terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport. It has been reported that drivers have had to take out small loans to help cover their loss of earnings from attending the 16 days of strikes, which probably led to those voting for an end to the strikes for now. Many drivers need to get back to work and try and earn a living. Unlike in Barcelona where taxi demonstrations forced local government to regulate ride-hailing apps by introducing a minimum of 15 minutes prebooked times on all trips, Madrid drivers were not as successful. Currently no deal has been made with regional government, but organisers of the strikes have said it has not been considered a failure, stating that they have managed to unite all professionals and associations in just one name: “the Taxi.” Following the intense protests in Barcelona, both Uber and Cabify announced that they were suspending their services from the city.