Taxi demonstration – Taxi associations lodge a complaint against Pascal Smet
Wednesday, 04 March 2015
Constantin Tsatsakis, president of the Brussels Taxi Association (ATB), and Khalid Ed-Denguir, president of the Belgian Taxi Federation (FeBeT) and Taxis United, lodged a complaint with the regional administration on Tuesday, at the end of the demonstration. It concerns the State Secretary for Mobility Pascal Smet. On Tuesday we learned they accuse him of lying, inciting illegal work, tax evasion and non-respect of the Brussels-Capitale government’s 29 March 2009 decree concerning taxi services and car and driver rental. Pascal Smet did organise 73 meetings with members of the sector. Two taxi representatives pointed out that the Consultative Council, the only organization named by the government, has never spoken to the State Secretary since he took office.
They criticise him for encouraging taxi drivers that want to work outside their normal hours with another company to work for the urban car-sharing company Uber. This would be through his Taxi 2015-2019 plan. Uber can only provide a secondary job. In reaction to this position, taxi associations are reminding people of the complaint Pascal Smet’s cabinet lodged against Uber and its conviction for disloyal competition by the Trade Tribunal.
“I have to pay a complement to guarantee a minimum salary to a taxi driver who didn’t have enough clients”, says Constantin Tsatsakis. “If a driver is also working for Uber tomorrow, he can sleep during his shift with me and use my car for Uber clients.All while getting a minimum salary as a taxi”.
The associations are talking to lawyers about how to go about a lawsuit.