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Uber to suspend service in Brussels during drivers protest

05:42 28/09/2021

Drivers with the LVC licence, who can be hired to carry passengers, will take to the streets of Brussels on Thursday to demand that the Brussels government keeps its promise to reform the outdated regulations for the taxi sector.

The action, organised by the Common Front for LVC Drivers union, is supported by Uber which wants this reform to create a clear framework for the drivers it employs through its platform.

Between 8.30 and 11.30, the Uber app will be paused out of solidarity with the drivers and people won't be able to order rides during that time. Anyone requesting a ride in the Uber app will get a message on their screen explaining the suspension during the drivers' protest action.

This is the first temporary interruption of the Uber app in Europe. Uber made this decision because the situation for LVC drivers in Brussels is "serious and urgent".

"We understand and share the frustration of the drivers about the lack of progress of this reform," said Laurent Slits, the head of Uber in Belgium. "Drivers have been living in uncertainty for seven years. We are pausing the app in solidarity with the drivers in Brussels."

The Brussels government promised to come up with a reform of the sector before the summer, but that promise has not been honoured. That is why the LVC drivers are now protesting again. As well as the LVC drivers, the official taxi sector also wants a reform of the legislation, which it says creates "unfair competition" with Uber and similar companies.

Written by Nick Amies