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Dutch Trade Union calls for fair taxi market

Portret Yvette de Vries
Door Yvette de Vries 21 juli 2020

Last Month, a group of Uber drivers and FNV spokesmen handed over a white paper on Uber to Alderman Sharon Dijksma of Amsterdam. They made the urgent request that she makes an effort for a fair taxi market in Amsterdam, with a fair income and equal rules for all taxi companies.

With this white paper, the union shows that the taxi market in Amsterdam has been wrecked and that the drivers are the victims. The FNV appeals to the Amsterdam city councilor to make the taxi market in the capital healthy and fair again.

Amrit Sewgobind, negotiator at the FNV: 'Uber has ruined the taxi market, also in Amsterdam. After the corona crisis, we want a fair taxi market with a fair income and legal protection for all taxi drivers. '

Drivers hardly earn minimum wages

The white paper lists the experiences of drivers, but it also becomes clear that the Uber drivers barely earn the minimum wage. Even with working weeks of fifty hours, Uber drivers earn an average of 260 euros a month less than their fellow taxi drivers. The costs of disability insurance and pension have not yet been taken into account. The FNV has calculated that the treasury will miss out on 20 to 40 million euros annually in tax revenues and social contributions due to Uber's working method. With the white paper on Uber, the FNV hopes to give Amsterdam councilors sufficient ammunition to demand regulations in the taxi industry from the national government.

Clear regulations

FNV has been urging the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management to maintain a level playing field for some time. Now there are big differences in rules for the boarding market (street taxis) and the delivery app market where Uber is the predominant party, especially in the big cities. Sewgobind: 'The problems in the rest of the country may not be all that great, but in Amsterdam taxi drivers, including Uber's, are suffering greatly from the proliferation caused by the differences in regulations.

Aggressive growth strategy

Companies like Uber are taking advantage of this and have an aggressive growth strategy. They are already active in other sectors and are expanding their activities throughout the Netherlands. And then it is a problem for the entire country and that is why we expect the minister to intervene. In this way, taxi drivers can be prevented from seeing their income fall further and further, due to high competition. Consumers will soon have to pay much more for a taxi ride because when Uber controls the entire market, it will set the price. "

Platform economy

The FNV has been fighting the sham constructions that platform companies have for some time now. These sham constructions lead to unfair competition with well-meaning companies, lower wages for workers and uncertainty about job security.

Marije Ottervanger, FNV Campaign Leader Platform Economics: 'We see platform companies that all perform tricks on paper to get out of being an real employer. But in reality, they direct the workers and the workers receive wages from the platform. Platforms can be cheaper because they avoid the collective labor agreement. That way, they don't pay premiums and pay less tax. Meanwhile, workers are worse off and have no safety net. This is painfully clear in this corona crisis.'

Read the original text in Dutch