Taxi drivers from across Europe headed to Brussels today as part of a European taxi industry protest demanding clarity around the controversial findings from the ‘Uber Files’ earlier this summer.
An estimated 1,500 taxi drivers are planning to make the trip to protest against the Uber ride hailing service and EU plans to liberalise the sector.
In attendance will be taxi drivers from the UK looking to make a stand on defining a clear two-tier system between licensed taxis and Private Hire (PH). Brian Ghairbhain, a London taxi driver and United Cabbies Group ‘activist’ said on 6 September via social media: “Tomorrow, I set out for Brussels, for a meeting to help our taxi brethren in the EU, and beyond.
“September 8th will play out as an international Taxi day, with demonstrations in Brussels and other European countries as well as Mexico, Argentina and Chile to name a few.
“I, along with representatives from Spain, Italy, Germany and Slovenia will meet with EU Commission department representatives to discuss a framework of putting into their law a defined 2 tier system, vis-à-vis Taxi and PH. Believe it or not, the UK model is a good one.
“We've been working on this for the last two months, Thursday will be the start of hopefully creating legislation that helps our taxi brethren and sisters in Europe. They like what we have in London, and would like to replicate in many ways, if only to help them in their fights.
“Uber and their ilk have ravaged some taxi services in Europe.
“This comes off the back of the revelations of lobbying and inappropriate polítical wranglings under the Uber Files phenomenon.
“The European Commission were party to it and seem eager to make amends. It's a chance to help the taxi drivers create a definition in law of the differences between Taxi & PH.
“If it's in statute form and a point if legal reference, it's easier to challenge illegal behaviours by PH entities driven by multinationals.
“More power to the arm of drivers in all EU states.
“You might wonder why as an UK based organisation, should the UCG be involved in it?
“Goodwill & intentions go a long way where friendships have been built up over the years. I don't intend to let our friends down
“I'm doing it off my own back but with the blessing of the committee.”