Uber Ban: 200 drivers protest at Brussels Parliament

Uber Ban: 200 drivers protest at Brussels Parliament
© Belga

On Friday morning, some 200 Uber drivers protested in front of the Brussels Parliament over the court decision that banned Uber from operating in Brussels and the temporary solution for those drivers left without an income as a result.

The temporary solution currently being hammered out by the Brussels Government would allow the drivers of the LVC sector (such as those who drive for Uber) to resume their work in the Brussels region within a strict legal framework, according to Belga News Agency.

That would require drivers to obtain an operating permit by 15 January 2021 and prove that they work as drivers for an average of 20 hours a week (thereby proving that this is their main occupation).

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Drivers would also only be able to carry out journeys pre-ordered via one of the platforms – picking up customers, parking on public roads, or using the taxi lines would be prohibited.

The Internal Affairs Committee of the Brussels Parliament approved this amended emergency ordinance on Thursday evening. However, the president of the union representing the affected drivers says that the solution from Brussels doesn’t allow everyone to return to work.

The emergency ordinance (also called “sparadraps”) is meant to be a temporary solution while the region sorts out a longer-term Taxi Plan that works for both platform drivers working with multinational apps like Heetch and Uber as well as Brussels’ traditional taxi sector.

“Because of the revised ‘sparadraps,’ not everyone will be able to go back to work,” said Fernando Redondo, president of the Association Belge des Chauffeurs de Limousine (ABCL). Platform drivers classify themselves as limousine drivers – a designation critics say is used to circumvent the stricter regulations taxi drivers must adhere to.

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