Thousands of jobs are under threat at Barcelona after the departure of Uber

Des milliers d’emplois menacés à Barcelone après le départ d’Uber

Photo: Lluis Gene Agence France-Presse
Drivers employed by companies holding permits VTC protested against the decree of the catalan government, earlier this week, in Barcelona.

Three companies of transport vehicles with driver (VTC) will remove 2080 jobs in Barcelona, announced on Friday that the employers ‘ organisation representing them, then that would enter into force a regional law restricting their activity.

“At this point, we already have social plans in three companies for 1000, 750 and 330 people being presented this morning” to the competent authority, said at a press conference, Eduardo Martin, president of Unauto VTC. In total, according Unauto, more than 3000 jobs are in jeopardy in the sector VTC in Barcelona.

These layoffs, while Uber and Cabify announced Thursday the arrest of their reservation services to VTC in Barcelona. Initially, these two platforms were operating as mere intermediaries between the users and the self-employed drivers, but the Spanish law has required drivers to have licenses of VTC. The three companies affected by the redundancies, Vector, Ronda, Moove Cars and Auro own the majority of these permits, and make available to Uber and its competitors, their enormous fleet of vehicles and their drivers.

However, the new legislation, which came into force on Friday in Catalonia requires to book the services of VTC with at least fifteen minutes in advance, and up to an hour to Barcelona, if local authorities decide. The mayor of Barcelona has also indicated that it would.

The decree, which also prevents the mobile applications to exploit the geo-location of their fleet, following a bitter strike of taxi drivers in the second largest city of Spain. “It makes the activity absolutely untenable,” said Eduardo Martin.

Uber under pressure in the world

Uber, dragged regularly before the courts and held in contempt by taxis, is obliged to respect the rules of the cities in which it is located a bit everywhere in the world.

Bulgaria was one of the first countries to completely ban Uber in July 2015, a decision of the Commission for protection of competition, including on the grounds of ” unfair competition “.

Hungary has been deserted by Uber in July 2016, following a law to allow a block, technically speaking, the Internet services of any provider of taxi services does not have a call center “, which is his case.

In Denmark, the activity of the VTC is illegal : a law adopted in February 2017 requires drivers, in particular whether they are equipped with a taximeter and occupancy sensors in the seats to activate the airbags, the conditions considered to be “too expensive” for Uber, which was abandoned in 2017.

In Germany, the service Uber is only available in the cities of Munich and Berlin, the rest of the country requiring by court decision all the drivers for Uber to buy commercial licenses official. Similarly, in the u.s. State of Oregon, Uber is allowed to operate in the city of Portland. In Italy, France, Finland and the netherlands, the service UberPop has been banned in recent years, among others for security reasons.

In London, the company has seen its license revoked by the transport authority of London, but graduated in June 2018 of the court of Westminster to be able to continue to work for fifteen months, his behavior being scrutinized during the period. In New York, new licenses for the VTC have been suspended since August, 2018 by the city, and that, for a period of one year, the time necessary for the supervisory authority of the vehicle with driver to carry out an impact study.

In Italy, the service Uber is banned on the whole territory of the country since a decision of the court of Rome in April 2017 for ” unfair competition “, a decision suspended a few days later pending an appeal judgment.

In Brussels, Uber has been declared illegal in January, but continues its activities thanks to a decision made a few days later by a court French-speaking capital, which indicated that the company was in compliance with the legal framework in brussels.

Uber continues to roll out its services across 65 countries and 600 cities or urban areas. The San Francisco-based company, valued at around US $100 billion, has passed the bar of 10 billion trips in June 2018. Its latest results reported in the third quarter of 2018 a turnover of 2,95 billion US $to over a billion in losses.


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