Taxi drivers to strike on Thursday March 30th: in interests of protecting occupation

Monday, 20 March 2017 16:13
Taxi users in Brussels need to be aware that taxi drivers are striking about the effect of the Uber platform to their industry in Brussels on March 30th. Taxi users in Brussels need to be aware that taxi drivers are striking about the effect of the Uber platform to their industry in Brussels on March 30th. © Belga
The Belgian Federation of Taxis (FeBeT) have lodged a strike warning. They will strike in Brussels on Thursday March 30th to denounce the situation in relation to taxi services. This is now “totally out of control.”
The federation has indicated this today (Monday) to the Belga press agency. Members of the federation lament the sheer lack of dialogue with Pascal Smets, the Minister for Transport in the Brussels-Capital region.

The FeBeT and its members want to gather on Thursday March 30th outside of the Minister's office, close to the Gare du Nord. The Director of the federation, Costa Tsatsakis, says, “The grass roots of our organisation are both determined and highly irritated by the current position. Our members have persuaded the organisation to lead this demonstration.”

He goes on, “We expect some 400 to 600 taxis to be present on the day.”

The Belgian Taxis Federation finally decided to strike following “an extremely serious incident” between a driver operating on the Uber platform and a taxi inspector in the Brussels-Capital region. The FeBeT spokesperson, Sam Bouchal, says that as a result of current position there is now both chaos and a feeling of impunity amongst taxi drivers.

He says, “We very much seek to avoid a drama occurring. Minister Smets knows full well that Uber is circumventing regulations but he has contrived the notion of ‘not quite illegal for this particular case alone.’ Our sector has a workforce shortage whilst, at the same time, the Minister continues to make access to our occupation extremely complicated.”

Union representatives for taxi drivers are complaining of the Brussels Minister's apparent willingness to remove restrictions in relation to taxi services and the contemporaneous lack of dialogue on the matter.

It is with great regret that they say that their last meeting with Smets took place as far back as May 30th, 2015.

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
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