Brazilian taxi drivers are fighting against Uber app operations in the country, to keep up pressure on the government following earlier demonstrations in São Paulo and other cities in March.
The protests are organised by the Taxi Drivers Union in São Paulo with support from the State Federation, the largest federation of the ITF-affiliated CNTTT (Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores en Transportes Terrestres). Unions are demanding that Uber activities are banned in Brazil because they flout the transport laws that regulate and protect standards for passengers and registered drivers.
An estimated 2.500 taxi drivers joined the protest in Sao Paulo on 8 April. The local government responded by ruling that the Uber service was illegal under the city’s transport laws because its drivers are not officially registered. Unions report that 16 Uber cars in Sao Paulo have since been impounded for violating the passenger transport law.
Unions now want this ruling moved up to federal level as, like other countries, in Brazil only registered drivers authorised by official transportation offices can offer passenger transport.
ITF Americas regional secretary Antonio Rodríguez Fritz, said: “Brazil’s professional taxi drivers are joining together to defend not only their labour rights but also the safety of all passengers. Uber operates illegal cars as taxis, without proper insurance or safety inspections, and violates all consumer laws.
“Uber claims it is a software company when in reality it offers taxi services. This charade must stop and Uber should be charged and fined in accordance with the law.”
The ITF is supporting its taxi driver affiliates to fight Uber around the world. Anti-Uber protests have taken place this year in many cities, and Delhi, Spain and South Korea are among the many cities and countries that have already banned the Uber app. Last week, police raided the company’s Amsterdam offices.
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