The council decision opens in Antwerp for international companies such as Uber. From now on, these companies have free rein in the city and can also completely destroy the taxi market there, as was successful in most cities where they are active in Western Europe. There is also no longer a maximum on the number of taxis in the city and every taxi driver can now determine his own rate. The sector finds the decision of the Antwerp council incomprehensible and fears a price war. We are more concerned with social exploitation within the sector.
Now that they can finally start carefully again after the corona crisis, these measures have hit like a sledgehammer. When you see 10 taxis at the station from now on, you should go down the list and ask for the rates. As a consumer it becomes shopping, as a taxi driver you are on the eve of many Antwerp problems in the taxi sector. For street taxis, the fixed rates, quotas and the restriction to the municipal territory for taxis will be removed. The Flemish government and the city of Antwerp want to allow the market to play more with these measures, in the hope that there will be more supply in terms of taxis and that prices will fall.
According to the city Antwerp the taxi sector must become more digital and much more flexible. It taxi decree and the new regulations are for the benefit of customers, according to councilors. Antwerp mobility ships Koen Kennis (N-VA) may think that social exploitation is lurking just like in other Uber working areas. He understands that there is fear within the sector, but the sector also seems to get stuck in the past.
In addition, Uber will also still have to comply with social legislation. Something they have proven not to be doing at all. Just last week, Amsterdam Alderman for Traffic and Transport Sharon Dijksma received one white paper handed over Uber from the FNV. With this white paper, the union shows that the taxi market in Amsterdam has been ruined and that the drivers have been checked. The FNV appeals to the Amsterdam city councilor to make the taxi market in the capital healthy and fair again.
“Uber has ruined the taxi market, also in Amsterdam. After the corona crisis, we want a healthy taxi market with fair income and legal protection for all taxi drivers, ”said Amrit Sewgobind, director of the FNV.
hardly any minimum wage
According to press officer Yvette de Vries the white paper states the experiences of drivers, but it also becomes clear that the Uber drivers hardly earn the minimum wage even with working weeks of fifty hours and that they have an average gross 260 euros less than their fellow taxi drivers. This does not yet take into account the costs of disability insurance and pension. The FNV has calculated that the treasury will miss out on 20 to 40 million euros annually in tax revenues and social contributions through Uber's working method. With the white paper on Uber, the FNV hopes to give Amsterdam councilors sufficient ammunition to denounce the regulations in the taxi industry to national politics.