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Spanish practices

Taxi drivers in Madrid are on strike over “unfair competition” from online ride-sharing services such as Uber and Cabify, reports El Pais. In English. On the internet.


9 comments to Spanish practices

  • Mr Ed

    Going on strike because you are more expensive than a rival seems to be the ultimate commercial idiocy.

    Still, should Uber start blacklisting customers whose views they disapprove of, in true SF style, assuming that the local regulators don’t stop them, I would find that funny.

  • bobby b

    If Uber and Cabify are on scene and prepared, how will anyone know the taxi drivers are on strike?

    (If I were The Authorities, I’d be looking for large cash payments from Uber and Cabify to the taxi union leaders to finance the strike. That would be the best expenditure of money they could have made while trying to break in to the market.)

  • Unions have long benefitted from a feeling (especially among the usual suspects) that poor oppressed workers should not be blamed too much if they get just a little ‘rough’ with any capitalist running-dog blackleg traitors to the working class who may be undermining their glorious strike. I agree that as presented, the strike seems absurdly self-defeating. Do we trust striking Spanish taxi drivers not to use their spare time hindering Uber?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    bobby b, people will know the taxi drivers are on strike because Spanish taxi drivers do not confine their “strike action” to withdrawing their labour. As it says in the El Pais article:

    A group of around 30 taxi drivers briefly blocked the M-40 beltway on Thursday morning near the Ifema convention center

    On the other hand, this is Spain. If past history is any guide, the Guardia Civil don’t confine their policing activities to telling people the time and sending “woke” tweets.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Niall Kilmartin,

    I agree that as presented, the strike seems absurdly self-defeating. Do we trust striking Spanish taxi drivers not to use their spare time hindering Uber?

    I think ultimately it will be self-defeating, in part because Spaniards, like all of us in the developed world, now can easily find out about and visit cities where Uber and similar services are allowed to function. That London is in that list is no thanks to the current Mayor, who put the legal frighteners on Uber a while ago by removing its licence to operate, though I think Mr Khan was taken aback by the strength of the pushback in defence of Uber – 600,000 people eventually signed a petition against the ban.

    However in the short term, the Spanish taxi drivers’ strategy is by no means irrational. They don’t have to convince the citizens. They merely have to convince the legislators. They will hinder Uber.

  • bobby b

    Ah, thanks, Natalie. Over here, we call those “riots”.

    So, they not only withhold their services and inconvenience people, they actually use force of numbers and shut down other transportation?

    Yeah, this seems well thought out.

  • Fraser Orr

    I looked at the article — presumably late. It seems they have agreed to a settlement. The government has passed a law to deliberately make ride share services more inconvenient for their customers. Only a government could think up this shit.

    (When I read it, the idea of taxi cabs striking against ride sharing services reminded me of when I was in college and college students would go on strike… like anyone would notice. However, as Natalie pointed out, when they say “on strike” they don’t mean “stop doing their job” they mean “engage in illegal activity believing that the righteousness of their cause, or their sheer numbers, will make policing and criminal prosecution impossible. And continue robbing from, threatening, and blocking until the inconvenience is sufficient to make people concede.”

    In other areas of life this is called “organized crime” or “bullying”. In unions it is called “striking”.

  • John B

    If it is ‘fair’ it is not competition.

    ‘Fair’ competition = a cartel.

  • Paul Marks

    Not a valid e.mail address – try again.

    Yes – “Spanish Practices” in its original sense, government backed restrictive practices.

    Mocked by the British and Americans for centuries – till they adopted the essentially the same policies themselves (whilst thinking they were being very “modern” and “Progressive” in adopting the policies of the Emperor Diocletian and other ancient despots).

    President “Teddy” Roosevelt still attacked “Spanish law” blaming its restrictive practices (and its undermining of private ownership in land – by the doctrine of “tenants rights”), correctly blaming it for the poverty of much of Latin American – whilst totally failing to see that his own “Progressive” movement was putting the United States at the start of the SAME ROAD.

    “Look at that fool over there – he is standing in an oven and getting cooked!”

    And what are you doing right now?

    “Oh I am walking towards an oven and I am going to get cooked – but it is quite different because I am a Progressive!”