Online taxi company Uber has cut the fares for its budget service Uberpop by 15%, in what licenced taxi drivers in the Netherlands say is ‘pure provocation’.
Uberpop allows car owners to offer their services as taxi drivers without a licence and has been banned in the Dutch courts. However, the company has refused to back down and continues to offer the service, despite it and several drivers being fined.
Licenced taxi organisations are now calling on the government to come down hard on Uber.
‘It is completely unbelievable that Uber drivers, who already risk a criminal record, are now being pushed by a rich American company to work for far below the legal minimum wage,’ Hubert Andela of taxi sector lobby group KNV told news agency ANP.
‘If this was happening in the mushroom growing industry, the company would be accused of exploitation,’ he said. Andela wants the transport ministry to step up spot checks on Uber cars and increase the fines.
Uber Nederland director Niek van Leeuwen said he expects drivers to earn more because of the lower fees. ‘We are so convinced of this we are offering all Uberpop drivers an income guarantee over the coming month,’ he said.
According to the Telegraaf, Uber claims 100,000 people in Amsterdam use its services but is unwilling to provide up-to-date details of users and driver numbers.