Protests against Uber and other “ride-sharing” companies are spreading across Latin America and Europe. In Mexico, an active group called Mexico City Organized Taxi Drivers (TOCDMX) is intensifying a movement against the capital city government’s plans to regulate Uber and Cabify and allow the companies to legally operate.
Turning up the pressure in its demands, the TOCDMX has announced plans for a July 29 city-wide work stoppage. On the same day, while Mexico City cabbies halt work, colleagues in Spain plan to demonstrate in solidarity outside Mexican diplomatic offices in Madrid and Barcelona.
Jose Miguel Funes, representative of the Madrid Elite Taxi Association, said the protests will be part of an emerging global movement against Uber and similar firms.
“Those transnational enterprises are dangerous and together in this war,” Funes was quoted. “That’s why taxi drivers from Colombia, Brazil, France, Spain, and Mexico are joining forces to impede their entry into the sector.”
Taxi drivers in France last month blockaded roads, choked traffic and disrupted transportation centers in a militant protest against UberPop that turned violent in some places.
The growing world-wide conflict pits Uber and other “ride-sharing” companies, which electronically link drivers and passengers for supposedly lower prices, against traditional cabbies and their employers who regard the newcomers as an unfair competition that doesn’t pay taxes and permits, sufficiently screen and train drivers, and protect passengers.
In addition to the streets, the dispute between Uber and the established taxi business is now a hot issue in the courts of Spain and other countries.
Sources: La Jornada, June 25 and July 6, 2015. Articles by Laura Gomez Flores and AFP.