Some 30,000 taxi drivers across Europe got in their cabs on Wednesday and headed out on the streets, but not to pick up fares: they took to the street in protest. What were they protesting, you ask? Uber.

For those still unfamiliar, Uber (formerly known as UberCab) is a mobile application that connects potential passengers with available drivers. The service is generally regarded to be more convenient and cost-effective than a conventional taxi, promoting its expansion from its initial market in San Francisco to some 70 countries around the world.

Licensed taxi drivers, however, have called foul play, arguing that Uber drivers aren't specially licensed, and the cars aren't subject to the same standards and regulations as traditional taxis. So to raise awareness of the issue, the estimated 30,000 cab drivers blocked streets in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Teamsters Union has issued a statement of support, which you can read below.

For its part, Uber refutes the allegations, justifying – in London particularly – that their drivers are fully licensed and additionally have to undergo the company's own screening process. Clearly the issue will have to be resolved in one way or another. It's just a matter of how and when. What do you think? Watch the video reports below and cast your vote in our online poll.



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Official Statement Of The Teamsters Union On The Worldwide Taxi Drivers' Protests Against Uber

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Teamsters International Union Vice President and Local 922 President Ferline Buie about today's worldwide taxi driver protests against Uber.

"As president of Teamsters Local 922 in Washington, D.C., which is affiliated with the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association, I express our solidarity with today's protests by taxi drivers in city after city across Europe. The drivers are calling for fairness and asking that if the private sedan services are allowed to operate that they do so on a level playing field. Uber is currently operating without having to comply with the same rules and regulations that taxi drivers do.

"In Washington, D.C., drivers are asking the same questions and making similar demands. It is time for the D.C. City Council to do its job. We demand that the city council order Uber, Lyft and other private sedan services to cease and desist operations until fair regulations are put in place. We applaud the Commonwealth of Virginia's decision last week to order the private sedan companies to stop operating until fair regulations are in place. The private sedan companies are stealing our members' work and they continue to operate illegally.

"The drivers' fight in Europe is our fight. Their demands for government action are our demands here in Washington, D.C.

"We are watching these protests carefully and they inspire our drivers to keep up the fight for fairness!"


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  • 70 Comments
      Lab Ninja
      • 6 Months Ago
      Get an app that does the same thing... (Here's looking at YOU YellowCab!)
        raughle1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Lab Ninja
        Flywheel seems to be doing exactly that. I think it's only on the west coast of the US so far though.
      Cool Disco Dan
      • 6 Months Ago
      Cabbies piss off people who will use more uber.
      Jason
      • 6 Months Ago
      Taxis have gotten OUTRAGEOUS everywhere! If I can find a cheaper alternative, Guess what I'm taking it.
      Caroline Copywriter
      • 17 Days Ago

      Although Uber is technically our competition, at Edinburgh car service we are glad that there is a company that values innovation and fresh ideas over direct competition in prices. Thanks to them many companies over the world rethinks the way they provide their services (just as we did) in order to satisfy growing demands of customers used to have anything at reach of their phones.

      csrecord
      • 6 Months Ago
      What screening process? Tell me how great Uber is after the first rape victim.
        MrMonkaroo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @csrecord
        They do background checks on every driver. You can't have any criminal history at all to drive.
        Cool Disco Dan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @csrecord
        Yeah because cabbies never rape women.
        raughle1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @csrecord
        So you'd rather have your wife flag down a stranger in a cab, when nobody knows where she is? My wife and I had this same conversation before she used it. To make the service work and to bill you properly, the Uber app has to be tracking where you are. Both the driver and passenger, from what I've seen. And it seems like the rating system has a better chance of ferreting out creeps than some can company who isn't in the car with their drivers.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @raughle1
          With many apps... you see the name, face, and a photo of the car... you cannot accidentally get into a vehicle that is "posing as a cabbie"... which is how most incidents happen. It is not real cabbies, but posers that attack people.
      yo
      • 6 Months Ago
      UBER is here to stay. Taxis are a complete RIP off.. glad they will all be gone in 10 years.
      Britt Benston
      • 6 Months Ago
      A clean, quiet hybrid with AC, or a noisy Caprice/GM with poor HVAC, bad suspension, high fares, and often rude drivers who smell? Tough choice...
        Georg
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Britt Benston
        in Germany most Taxis are Mercedes E-Class clean and top serviced (government order them for a government obsereved inspection once a year!) ... I am with the taxi driver... as a real Taxi driver in Germany u need to get a extra licens to transport people and a licens that allows u to drive taxi in your town(that way they regulate the ammount of taxis to stop price dumping), the Taxi car needs to visit government inspections twice as often as regular cars, they have to pay tax. Free market is a stupid US idea... it only makes one or two people mega rich and a lot of people mega poor. If you want fair payment in your job others have the same right... including taxi driver... I prefer a comfortable leather luxury big space Mercedes E-Class that is service nannyed and regulary inspected by indepentend engineers, with a prof taxi driver with special training over a private owned car from someone low on money who needs cash at all costs with a unclear driver record..
          Levine Levine
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Georg
          When a taxi driver tells us we need 'professional' taxi drivers, we know we've just been had. You've heard it all before: Professional used car salesman, Professional real estate agent, Professional financial planner, Professional painter, Professional sanitation engineers, Professional sex therapist, and .......Professional politicians.
          MrMonkaroo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Georg
          Many Uber drivers are part time drivers. it is not a full time gig and all these taxes and fees are dumb. An uber driver has to have registration, and up to date inspection of vehicle. People will not pay ridiculous prices just to be driven to a destination when their are cheaper alternatives. If Cabbies are so mad then why didn't their industry come up with the idea?
      Ryth
      • 6 Months Ago
      "Uber drivers aren't specially licensed, and the cars aren't subject to the same standards and regulations as traditional taxis" BS. You know this whole thing is just innovation and capitalism being stifled. If my friend picks me up and takes me the airport, it's NO DAMN DIFFERENT then a taxi picking me up and taking me. My friends car is insured, my friends car has to go through IIHS safety tests and regulations, my friend has to have a license and so on. And my friend is going to drive SAFER then a damn taxi cab driver. Uber is no different then you asking a friend to take you some place except you don't know them. But you know their face, rating and other things from the application, which is a hell of a lot more then you know about your TAXI cab driver.
      david.bergman1
      • 6 Months Ago
      Long live Über! Tell the governments around the world to not interfere with the markets to try to protect big taxi cab companies at the consumers expense.
        reattadudes
        • 6 Months Ago
        @david.bergman1
        hell, who needs safety inspections and liability insurance? and your comment about "at the consumer's expense" is truly comical, and shows your total ignorance about the subject at hand. when you get out of a cab or a livery car, you know EXACTLY how much that ride cost. when you get out of an Uber car, YOU DO NOT. taxi and livery company rates are strictly regulated, and Uber rates ARE NOT. if you have a problem with that taxi or livery company, you have someone to CALL. with Uber, please send an email, and MAYBE you'll get an email answer in a couple of days or so. how about a nice $900 ride to the airport? Uber will be glad to take you, "at the consumer's expense", as you say.
          rdaex1
          • 6 Months Ago
          @reattadudes
          Good lord man, give it a rest. ANY vehicle on the road is safe. ANY vehicle. Have you seriously never ridden in a US cab?! Theyre rolling piles of **** with a pleasing layer of vomit. They might inspect them, but I guarantee you the inspection is "Does it start and run?"
      Jacel
      • 6 Months Ago
      Cab companies have gotten greedy ..... let the competition begin.
        reattadudes
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jacel
        please explain how cab companies have "gotten greedy", considering the fact that their rates are strictly regulated. I'll be waiting.
          rdaex1
          • 6 Months Ago
          @reattadudes
          LOL.. lets see, when I attended a sporting even recently, I took a cab from the restaurant to the stadium. They were lined up in front of the restaurant. I got in, made sure not to touch anything, the dude said 10 bucks, and off we went. We darted through traffic, possibly breaking multiple laws, while driving like a total farking jackass. The trip back was the same adventure, but that trip was only 5 bucks. Tell me more about this regulation?
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      Let the market sort it out.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 6 Months Ago
      These cabbies are Uber pissed. Get it? Eh, I tried.
        artso06
        • 6 Months Ago
        @NY EVO X MR GUY
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTwnwbG9YLE&feature=kp
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