Taxi Drivers to Organize Protest against Uber

Total Croatia News

Taxi drivers in Zagreb do not seem pleased with competition.

If the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure does not prohibit Uber in Croatia, taxi drivers form the Radio Taxi association in Zagreb will organize a protest. If they do not achieve their goals with the peaceful protest, they are ready to block the whole city, reports on February 13, 2017.

“We are preparing a protest by legal taxi drivers in Croatia, because Uber is stealing our bread. They need to be covered by a law, because the way they operate is illegal. They should not exist. I have been doing this job for 40 years. I have always met all legal requirements, and Uber does not. Our guys see what is happening, and they saw an 80-year-old who drives a Golf and works for Uber. According to my information, Uber bought over 2,000 fiscal cash registers. That means that they have 2,000 drivers or expect they will have as many”, said Jozo Kovačević, president of the Radio Taxi Zagreb association.

He added that their business had been halved since Uber arrived to Croatia, explaining that the taxi drivers are up in arms because “they have recognized the danger”. They are particularly angry because the majority of the public supports Uber’s side. “A man who works in a City Hall told me that he had tried Uber and that they are great. I cannot believe it. The people whom I am feeding are saying me that”, said Kovačević.

Taxi drivers will first organize a peaceful protest in front of the Transport Ministry, but if that does not bear fruit, then could launch a full blockade of Zagreb. “We will block airport and the whole city, that is one of the options. That is how people in other countries fight for their workers rights. We hope that there is still reason in our country and that there will be no blockade”, said Kovačević. He would not say exactly when they would organize the protest, adding that it all depended on the Ministry.

Taxi-service Cammeo said they would not protest. “Earlier this year, the Transport Ministry established a group that is working on amendments to the law regulating taxi services. Given the fact that at the moment there is a positive atmosphere that the amendments will resolve these issues, taxi drivers from Cammeo Group will not join the protest”, said Cammeo representatives.

They point out that they understand the concerns of their colleagues, but added that they wanted to give a chance to the dialogue. Cammeo last year launched an initiative to liberalize taxi services, which was aimed at reduction of administrative barriers that hinder the development of these activities. “In addition to taxi services being more accessible to citizens, the changes we are proposing would create 5,000 new jobs, of which nearly 1,500 within the Cammeo Group”, said Cammeo.

Uber said that this kind of pressure was unacceptable and represented a relic of times gone past. “Blockage of the city poses a threat to citizens and infrastructure. Such hasty decisions would harm business interests of the city, economy, would limit access to schools and other public services. This pressure is unacceptable in a modern European state”, said Uber.

They added that more than 60,000 people use Uber in Croatia, because it is reliable, safe and accessible. “Uber provides an unmatched level of price transparency, which strengthens the traceability and accountability in a sector which has traditionally focused on cash payments. We are in dialogue with government representatives and support the adoption of new regulations that would protect consumers’ right to choice and promote competition”, said Uber.


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