Uber drivers disrupt traffic with rush hour protest

Uber drivers disrupt traffic with rush hour protest
Credit: Alper Çuğun/ Flickr.

Uber drivers caused traffic disruptions during the Monday morning rush hour by forming a vehicle procession and driving to the offices of Brussels Minister President Rudi Vervoort, where they protested their lack of ability to operate freely in the Belgian capital.

The organisation that represents the drivers says that several vehicles belonging to drivers with Walloon and Flemish VVC licences (a type of licence given to chauffeur drivers) were impounded in Brussels at the end of last week. This may be in response to protests from traditional taxi drivers in which they called for Brussels to enforce its legislation that prevents all but some specific Uber drivers from operating.

“We know that drivers are deeply concerned about the recent enforcement by the Brussels government administration against their own colleagues,” an Uber spokesperson told The Brussels Times.

“In December, the Brussels Parliament was very clear on its intention to save the work of 2,000 drivers when it adopted the emergency ordinance (sparadrap). We remain committed to drivers while we work together with all parties in the sector towards a comprehensive reform that provides clarity for drivers and modern and reliable mobility for the citizens of Brussels.”

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In protests from traditional taxi drivers on Tuesday and Thursday, they demanded that Brussels Mobility perform checks on Uber drivers to ensure they are operating legally in the capital.

VVC drivers from Wallonia and Flanders are supposed to be prohibited from working in the area of the Brussels airport, or in Brussels itself, but traditional taxi drivers say that rule isn’t being respected or enforced.

Meanwhile, the organisation that represents Uber drivers is calling on VVC drivers of all regions and all licences to mobilise. They’re demanding that the vehicle seizures stop and that a solution be offered in which Walloon and Flemish drivers who have been working in Brussels for years are allowed to continue to do so.

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