Italian taxi drivers to stage national strike on November 7th

Italian taxi drivers to stage national strike on November 7th
Italian taxi drivers will stage a national strike on November 7th. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Taxi drivers across Italy will go on strike on November 7th in protest over delays by the transport ministry to update regulations governing private car hire services.

Unions said the strike was a protest over “unkept promises” by the ministry after it pledged to update Law 21, a transportation law which dates back to 1992, in March in return for taxi drivers ending a six-day strike.

Taxi drivers claim private car-hire and car-share services benefit favourably from rules entwined in the law regarding tariffs and licenses.

Currently, private taxi drivers, known as NCC, can purchase licenses in smaller towns, where they cost less, but use them to work in cities.

Alessandro Atzeni, the national secretary for the transport union Uil, said drivers are calling for a “regulatory equilibrium in the taxi and NCC sector”.

The move follows the Italian taxi drivers’ victory over the ride-sharing app Uber, whose low-cost Uber Pop service, which allowed users to order a lift from a driver without a commercial licence, was banned across the country in 2015 when a Milan court ruled it created unfair competition.

Taxi associations then tried to rid the market of Uber’s remaining apps, such as the premium Uber Black service, which uses NCC drivers. But their plans were thwarted in May when a Rome court lifted a temporary ban blocking the service, leaving Uber free to operate since then, but only in Milan and Rome.