April 15, 2021

«The taxi does not lose money, it bills more than ever»

Juan Galiardo, director general de Uber España


Uber has already left Barcelona in 2014, as he did last week. Then it was Justice who provisionally suspended his services in the Ciudad Condal. The same Justice to which now, paradoxically, the VTC companies are planning to go for the US multinational and Cabify to return to Barcelona. Juan Galiardo, general manager of the company in Spain, warns of the "impact on employment" that the Generalitat norm will have which forces VTC services to be pre-contracted 15 minutes in advance. A measure "unprecedented in Europe".

Why does the pre-contracting proposed by the Generalitat affect Uber so much?

Our service must be immediate, this is what generates the demand of the application. If we impose 15 minutes we can not offer it. The decree makes our activity unviable.

Are there options for the Parlament to lower the norm?

Let's hope so. There are many voices critical of the decree, both of institutions and political parties. The own Catalan Authority of the Competition that, depends on the Generalitat, has said that it is disproportionate and that goes against the citizen. The impact is tremendous for investment, taxation and employment, where 3,500 jobs will be abolished. In addition, it conditions the mobility of Barcelona, ​​which does not have car sharing or electric scooters and loses to the VTC. Even so, there are no signs of optimism, we have not even been present at the negotiation of the decree.

Are legal actions already being considered?

I do not know, it is the VTC companies that will lead the legal battle.

Does this measure affect the expansion of Uber?

Not at all. Our commitment remains intact. We do not rule out new releases soon, because Spain is a priority market and has a high demand. We also want to return to Barcelona at some point. We can not confirm anything yet, but there is a tremendous opportunity for new forms of mobility.

Has there been any approach with the taxi sector in recent weeks?

The most radical taxi associations have a fear policy, but they do not represent the sector. Many taxi drivers on foot want to work with us. We are actively working to reach results.

The taxi accuses them of promoting precarious work

VTCs have a labor agreement that establishes a series of working conditions and regulates these relationships. There is no need to go further, it is like any other sector and decent work is guaranteed

Has the Labor Inspectorate contacted the company?

I will not comment on this aspect. If the Inspection contacts us, we will assist you. We work hand in hand with the authorities to work in the legal framework like any other sector.

Do you think that the Ministry of Public Works will intervene in the conflict to stop new strikes?

Development delegated the powers to the autonomous communities, but the competence debate does not seem the most important. We have been in talks with Fomento for the implementation of the electronic registry, which is what we have all agreed on, so as not to rob the taxi of its monopoly of raised hands and to avoid at all costs the illegal collection. We are already taking action. When it detects that there is recruitment the driver involved loses access to our platform.

What solution does Uber propose to the conflict?

We must move towards a regulatory convergence by liberalizing the taxi further. It would not make much sense to restrict the activity of the VTC, imposing wage bills and schedules, as proposed by the Community of Madrid. What you have to try is to make the taxi more flexible so that you do not feel that there is unfair competition. The Community of Madrid already spoke in the past of offering a closed price in the pre-contracting of the taxi.

PP and Citizens propose to create a compensation fund for the taxi.

We are not closed to help the guild to improve but we must bear in mind that normally these funds are offered to compensate for the liberalization of the sector and the fall in the price of the service that usually implies. You have to be careful how we use this fund, because the fund has no losses and before the strike was winning more than ever. If these aids are oriented towards improving mobility and modernization, of course we support it.


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