Taxi dispute flares up at Schiphol
13 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — Tensions remained high among taxi drivers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Wednesday as disgruntled workers turned a car on its side after mistakenly identifying it as an illegal cab.
13 November 2003
AMSTERDAM — Tensions remained high among taxi drivers at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Wednesday as disgruntled workers turned a car on its side after mistakenly identifying it as an illegal cab.
Employees of TCA — the longest established and former monopoly taxi company in Amsterdam — have been taking direct action since Monday to highlight their anger at what they claim is the half-hearted manner in which police are tackling cabs operating illegally at the airport.
Legitimate taxis have to pay a large fee to operate from Schiphol's taxi ranks, while illegal cabs do not pay the fee. Instead they tout for business in the arrivals and departure gates and the main hall at the airport.
TCA drivers have been complaining about the issue for some time and on 10 November they blocked traffic from the Schiphol Airport arrivals hall, claiming that military police in charge of airport security are not doing enough to get rid of the illegal cabs.
As part of its blockade, TCA also set up its own "public order service" and arrested six people before handing them over to the authorities, an NOS news report said.
The latest incident involved an official taxi driver who does not normally work at Schiphol. He had been contacted by a passenger who had arrived off a plane.
The taxi was mistakenly identified as an illegal cab and protesting taxi drivers turned it over on to its side, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
A spokesperson for the Koninklijke Marechaussee military police described it as a "painful incident". The situation was eased following talks between a TCA manager and the police.
The Marechaussee insisted that they do act against people touting for passengers, but each case must be dealt with by the courts.
The TCA drivers at Schiphol indicated to newspaper De Telegraaf that they were pleased with Thursday's talks, but warned the next incident involving an illegal cab would lead to "action".
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news