Paris (AFP) – The drivers of VTC decided Friday, after a day of mobilization, to suspend their movement during the weekend of Christmas and are now waiting for concrete proposals of the booking platform Uber, which they deem the prices “outrageous”.
“We decided, out of respect for the population, to suspend movement at least until Monday”, said to AFP Fabian Tosolini (CFDT-Transport). “We’re going to do the truce of sweetshops during the eve of Christmas,” confirmed Jean-Luc Albert, the association’s Active-VTC.
This truce will last “until Uber clarifies its position,” said Mr. Albert, in reference to the statements of the director general of the u.s. platform for the Western Europe, Thibaud Simphal. This last was said in an interview with the magazine Altereco that Uber was “open to discussions as long as they relate to the sector as a whole”, and in this case, he assured, “we are ready to trim our profit margins.”
Hemli Mamlouk, Capa VTC, said, “stay vigilant” about what will announce Uber, while recognizing in this that said Thibaud Simphal “progress, potential openings”. He said predict a reversal of the movement of the VTC on Tuesday.
The drivers of VTC in asking that the u.s. platform accepts a return to the rates prior to October 2015: 8 euros minimum for the race, compared to 6 currently, and 20% commission instead of 25% today.
Mr. Albert has also announced that drivers, gathered now in “eight” organizations and trade unions, wanted to bring the case to court in order to obtain a “reclassification of their contracts as Uber contracts of labour”.
The mobilization of Friday had started with a protest on the outskirts of paris airports, prior to an operation snail to the headquarters of Uber in the Nineteenth arrondissement, which was disrupted for several hours the traffic on the A1.
According to Active-VTC, about 250 drivers are mobilized at the peak, 400 according to the Unsa-VTC. A source airport had counted 100 to 180 VTC from Roissy.
The CFDT-Transport has hailed “a real engagement without clashes or violence”. The prefecture of police has identified 67 citation and two proceedings for the criminal offence of obstruction. Last week, the first demonstrations were interspersed with incidents. Fifty drivers were also gathered Friday in Lyon, according to the prefecture.
- Disconnections -
After the failure on Tuesday of talks with Uber, the government has appointed a mediator to conduct a negotiation, by January 31, on the pricing, expenses, social protection and the conditions of disconnection of the platforms.
To drop Uber, organizations of drivers have also called the VTC to disconnect heavily the platform and to join other applications.
The application Marcel, of which the commission is 15%, indicated to the AFP having registered since the beginning of the week a “huge peak of requests from drivers”, as Allocab.
The association of drivers of VTC independent AMT thanked Friday evening in a news release its members who are logged out “massively” Uber. “This approach, which directly impacts the portfolio of Uber, is judicious to reverse the power relationship in favor of the drivers, without whom the platform would not get a penny”, she says.
Uber focused criticism because of its position very the majority on the market of applications involving the VTC and customers, and because, according to the unions, it “pulls the price down.”
Tuesday, Uber had refused to give way on prices, announcing in consideration the creation of a relief fund of two million euros, but no other information.
In a press release Friday, the French Federation of transport of people on a booking (FFTPR), which includes several other platforms such as private Driver, or Marcel, ensures “to consider concrete solutions in order to continue to offer drivers VTC working conditions and profitability to be satisfactory”.
In response to the social movements triggered in recent months by taxi, VTC, and Loti (transit on demand), which compete for the same clientele, the bill proposed by socialist deputy Laurent Grandguillaume has been definitively adopted on Wednesday.
It specifies the obligations of the platforms of the VTC, not to impose exclusivity clauses to drivers and provides for the establishment of a core curriculum review for the taxis and the VTC.