Taxi drivers plan national strike to protest Uber

Meeting in Merida will decide details on dealing with competition

TIJUANA, MEXICO - MARCH 31: Taxis are lined up near the El Chapparal port of entry, most waiting for passengers crossing into Mexico, on March 31, 2019 in Tijuana, Mexico. U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters Friday “there's a very good likelihood” that he will close the U.S. Southern border next week. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Taxi drivers are planning a June strike across Mexico. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty

Taxis drivers from all over Mexico will meet in Mérida on May 25 and 26 to plan a national strike that has been scheduled for June 3, reported union leader Héctor Alberto Fernández Zapata, of the FUTV.

Uber’s ascendance has been a sticking point since the ride-share app and similar platforms took root here years back.

As many as 4,500 drivers are anticipated in Merida.

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Despite reforms to the Yucatan transport law, Uber continues to work illegally, said Fernández Zapata. Similar conflicts persist throughout Mexico.

He said that they have not determined how many taxi drivers will participate in the national strike. They want to make clear that Uber’s arrival has brought difficult times to traditional taxistas.

The meeting will break down into working groups to deal with different issues including universal insurance for all and a transition to natural gas.

Taxi drivers pay far more for their concessions, FUTV members complain.

Uber started Merida’s ride-share wave in 2016, and was immediately embraced by passengers frustrated by hunting down elusive cabs. Ride-share cars normally come in minutes and the transaction is completed online.

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By fall, violence broke out, with Uber drivers confronted and in a few cases, physically attacked. An angry demonstration at the airport also involved intimidation tactics against Uber drivers and passengers.

FUTV’s exclusive hold on the business first showed cracks in 2014, when the union disrupted the Merida airport after the bus line ADO was allowed to operate in the same parking lot.

The last time taxi drivers held a strike in Merida, Uber drivers capitalized on the opportunity to offer free rides.

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