Taxi Strikes Continue In Spain After Failed Talks

From El Pais..

Taxi strikes to continue across Spain after talks with government fail

Government offer to transfer licensing powers to regional authorities will only extend the problem to 17 regions, say taxi representatives.

The strikes will continue across Spain after sector representatives failed to reach a deal with government officials at a four-hour meeting on today (Monday.)

Taxi drivers from Dénia, Xàbia, Calp, Ondara or Moraira, were also on strike. ( via La Marina Plaza)

  • The guild of Marina Alta seconded the indefinite strike called throughout the country, only performs minimum services and does not travel to other cities such as Alicante

Taxi representatives said they are not satisfied with the government’s offer to transfer powers over licensing to regional governments, and said this would simply extend the problem to 17 regions, rather than fix it.

In the Marina Alta, the taxi sector is also supporting the strike that since this weekend has called this group nationally. The mobilization affects the guilds of Dénia Calp, Teulada-Moraira, Ondara or Xàbia, among other towns in the region.

These professionals are only providing minimal services to transfer people with reduced mobility or hospital centers, which on the other hand are quite frequent throughout the year. On the other hand, they do not carry out tourist services during the high season, that is, at the moment when there is more demand. Sources of the taxi drivers of Denia reported in this sense that they are not making trips to other towns, such as Alicante, València or the airports.

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The Popular Party (PP) and Ciudadanos said they will ask Public Works Minister José Luis Ábalos to come to Congress to explain the “chaos” caused by the stoppage, which comes at the peak of tourist season in Spain.

Spanish authorities this week launched a series of meetings in a bid to end the ongoing strikes in Barcelona, Madrid and other cities over “unfair” competition from ride-hailing services like Uber or Cabify.

Indefinite strike

The conflict began on Wednesday of last week when Barcelona taxi drivers announced a two-day strike to support a city ordinance, approved on the initiative of Mayor Ada Colau, that limited the scope of action for companies like Uber and Cabify. This regulation has been temporarily placed on hold by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC), which feels that it encroaches on national powers over transportation issues.

After that decision by the regional high court, taxi drivers in Barcelona began an indefinite strike on Saturday, July 28, which was soon seconded by Madrid drivers. The protest has since extended to other parts of Spain such as Málaga, Sevilla, Valencia, Alicante, Zaragoza and La Rioja, where the stoppage will remain in force until Tuesday of this week.

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Paseo de la Castellana avenue in Madrid.
Paseo de la Castellana avenue in Madrid. JULIO NÚÑEZ