Uber and Cabify resume services in Barcelona after taxi strike ends
Ride-hailing companies suspended operations after vehicles became targets of attacks
Uber and Cabify resumed services in Barcelona on Friday morning after temporarily suspending them when some of their users suffered attacks by taxi drivers striking against the ride-hailing companies.
Starting on Wednesday, some 2,000 taxi drivers in the Catalan capital held a 48-hour protest to denounce the removal of local laws limiting the number of licenses for car rentals with driver, known as VTC—a measure that, they claim, puts their jobs at risk.
During the strike, Uber and Cabify cars became the targets of aggressions. One of the most serious incidents involved more than a dozen strikers kicking and hitting a car carrying a family of French tourists.
Unauto, an association representing ride-hailing companies in Spain, said that the suspension of services by Uber and Cabify should be “a matter of reflection,” and accused the city council of Barcelona and the Spanish government of “giving in to blackmail.”
The association reiterates that the services they provide in Barcelona and the rest of the cities in Spain is "fully legal," and is regulated, they say, within the law. "We are within the law," affirmed the statement, "those who are not are those who direct acts of violence against our sector with the intention of intimidating us and keeping us from working freely, just like pressuring administrations so they change the rules of the game to their benefit."
Despite the subsequent withdrawal of the motion to lift the regulation limiting the amount of VTCs in the city, however, the Catalan Supreme Court ruled to maintain the suspension in place. This was communicated by the judge to the separate parties.
The taxi driver strike officially ended at 6am on July 27. The drivers have allegedly dismissed the option of any new protests in the immediate future.