Taxi drivers across Italy are on strike today as they protest against ride-sharing apps such as Uber. The strike has been ongoing since 8am Tuesday morning and is due to come to an end at 10pm Tuesday night.
Union bosses called for the strike Monday night after they decided to reject proposals from the Italian Ministry of Transport, calling them "unacceptable" according to reports in The Local .
Taxi drivers across the country claim the industry has been deregulated by the government, calling it "unfair". Uber launched in Italy in 2014 and Taxi unions are calling for tighter rules on where drivers on ride-hailing apps are allowed to operate.
The strike has been called "unjustified" by Italy's deputy of transport, Ricardo Nencini. He has made it clear that there is no consideration to enforce an outright ban on such apps, which is what he claims union leaders have called for.
Uber's controversial "UberPop" was outlawed in 2015 by a Milan court. UberPop allowed users to ride with drivers who were without a commercial licence. The court ruled it to be "Unfair" competition.
Since then, Unions have been challenging regulators to take similar action on Uber's "UberBlack" service, which uses licensed private hire drivers. A temporary ban was put on the service but later lifted by a Rome court. UberBlack now only operates in Italy's two main cities of Milan and Rome.
Traditional Taxis created their own free app in an attempt to compete, but as in most cities around the world, Uber's heavily subsidised fares are difficult to match. As Uber continues in their attempt to gain a monopoly, unions and taxi drivers alike continue to fight for the future of the trade they have served for decades.