French Taxi Drivers Go On Strike Over Competition From Uber

French national pastime


[phil h]/flickr

Taxi drivers in France, who have to pay up to $250,000 for a license to drive a cab, are going on a nationwide, unlimited strike tomorrow over competition from UberPOP, a ridesharing service Uber introduced in France earlier this year. UberPOP was launched as a response to a presidential decree called the "15 minute law," which required professional Uber drivers to wait 15 minutes before picking up a passenger—the law law doesn't apply to UberPOP, a ridesharing services.

Via France 24:

French taxi unions are set to begin a nationwide, unlimited strike on Thursday as a festering dispute with the popular minicab service UberPOP turns increasingly ugly.

Taxis will be gathering outside transport hubs in France's main cities in protest against Uber's low-cost minicab service, with some unions warning that they will bring tents to camp out until the UberPOP app is pulled.

Companies like Uber "continue to sell applications that promote undeclared labor", the unions said in a statement, throwing their support behind "all targeted actions organised from this day on against Uber".

In France, a taxi strike doesn't just mean taxi drivers stay home and Uber drivers do big business, they block highways and other transportation links across the country.

France may see more strikes per year than any other Western European country, and they've been on the rise since 2009.

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  1. Oh, a French labor strike. Must be Wednesday.

    1. Gentlemen, light your Citro?ns…

      1. But mine is already on fire.

    2. doesn’t this mean that there is more room in the market for uber drivers?

  2. Wait, you don’t like competition so you are going to have a temper tantrum like a 4 year old? Who the fuck do you think you are?

    Is it okay to link to encyclopedia dramatica here. First thing that came in my head after reading this was “BAWWWWW!!!!”.

    1. I especially like the 15 minute rule.

      “Ok, if you are going to compete with us you are required by law to do a bad job.”

      Fuckin’ frogs.

    2. First thing that came to my head is toss an axe handle into my truck and smash anyone who blocked the highway in their French face. Gladly I don’t live in France and have no interest in doing violence in the U.S., so not a true threat.

  3. Bye Felicia.

  4. Alternate headline: French Workers Go On Strike, No One Can Tell The Difference.

  5. Does the French government force companies to pay the workers who can’t get to work because the roads are clogged with taxis? Because I could totally buy that they do.

    1. I can understand why the French of all people would fear a company named Uber.

      1. +1 German occupation

        1. +1 for 1870, and +1/2 for WW I.

    2. UNDECLARED LABOR! *faints*

    3. Uber should change the name to Sup?rieur for the French.

  6. So their brilliant plan is to go on strike and force all their customers to use Uber?

    Yeah, that’ll show them!

    1. That’s why they “block highways and other transportation links across the country”. Because if they don’t get their way, they’ll punish everyone. Freaking real organized crime syndicates have more class than these thugs.

  7. And of course since the gendarmarie are most likely unionized as well, no one will lift a finger to get the cabbies to stop blocking the roads.

    I’m sure in their minds, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    1. One of the linked articles says France has a lower unionized rate than other European countries. So the takeaway seems to be… the French public are really stupid and/or cowed.

  8. Go build another Maginot Line you commies.

  9. Put a Mohammed cartoon on your hood and watch them run over each other getting out of your way.

  10. If this affects my Tour de France watching, I may fly over there to join in with the gendarme as they club these idiots out of the way of the pro cyclists.

  11. Companies like Uber “continue to sell applications that promote undeclared labor”,

    How dare you work without getting our permission!

  12. What’s “undeclared labor”?

    1. Commies aren’t getting money or power from it, or not as much as they feel entitled to.

  13. Stupid question: why don’t these idiots just start driving for Uber?

    1. That’s what I’ve always thought, too…

      I have read that being an Uber driver is not actually that great financially but it can’t be worse than being a taxi driver.

      1. I’m a (very, very part time) Uber driver, and it is excellent financially. If I lost my job again, that’s what I would do with the downtime instead of temp accounting jobs. Extrapolating, if I did Uber full-time just during business hours, I’d make almost as much after expenses as I do as a senior analyst for a midsized natural gas company now. If I did it during peak hours, I’d make significantly more. The only problem with Uber is that you are not an employee, so no health insurance, 401 K, or other fringe benefits. And there is a ceiling on how much you can make, it doesn’t increase with experience, skills, etc. But it is a great deal financially, especially compared to other shit you could do with equivalent qualifications.

        1. Is this a tacit endorsement for those of us looking to do some Uber driving?

          I’m a stay at home dad. Both kids are in school now and I could use something to do and some side cash. Not looking to become rich, just have a couple hundred extra bucks during the month.

      2. Not having to cough up a quarter million $ for a license has to help the bottom line a bit.

    2. The pay to work ratio favors the consumer more.

  14. “Who run Barter Town?”

    1. I am kinda thinking that the solution here is to put an Uber driver in the War Rig. 😉

  15. You know who else wanted more vehicles with German names driving all over France?

    1. Harald Kr?ger?

  16. The free market is working!??? We must impose regulations and restrictions against it so we can blame it in the future.

    1. It’s easy to find “market failures” when you ban all the market successes.

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