In a First, Uber Joins Drivers in Strike Against Brussels Rules
(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. paused its services in Brussels on Thursday in what the ride-hailing company called an “unprecedented” joint action with its drivers against a ban on using smartphones when driving.
In a message to clients, Uber said its rides were temporarily suspended because the local government in the Belgian capital didn’t deliver on promises to update the existing legal framework by last summer, the company said.
Current “regulations were drafted in 1995 and include very outdated measures such as the prohibition for drivers to use a smartphone,” Uber said in a blog post warning clients in advance of the disruption. “As a result, drivers who use the Uber app to drive you to your destination receive fines and risk having their vehicles taken away.”
Read More: Uber Drivers Face Brussels Ban on Smartphones for Rides
The company called the joint action with its drivers “exceptional and unprecedented in Europe.” It has often faced fierce criticism across the world over its business model and faced off workers’ unions and local governments in courts over its working conditions.
The tone was different on Thursday.
Uber drivers “fear for their work and are worried for their future,” the company said in its statement of solidarity, appealing to customers to raise pressure on local authorities. “Without a reform now, as a rider, you may not have the same mobility opportunities as today anymore.”
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