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Mini-cab drivers next to protest

After three-day taxi disruption last week, the VTC (private hire car) industry is next to take to the streets

AFTER last week's taxi protest brought disruption to cities around France, it is the turn of mini-cab drivers to take to the streets this coming Wednesday.

The action has been called by the Alternative Mobilité Transport association, which brings together about 10 mini-cab and private car hire firms employing about 1,000 staff.

AMT president Joseph François said a silent procession would set off from the Gare Montparnasse in the capital at 12.00 on Wednesday and head towards the Esplanade des Invalides.

The association is calling for a "real discussion" on taxi licensing and the protest has the support of Uber and Chauffeurs Privés.

Prime minister Manuel Valls met representatives from the taxi sector for three hours on Thursday, after a three-day protest in Paris and other cities including Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lille. He promised increased spot checks in 12 French departments.

The biggest mini-cab union in France, Unsa SCP-VTC, is not taking part in Wednesday's demonstration, believing that Uber itself is the problem and not traditional taxi services.

"We're in a trap," one union member said. "A lot of drivers got into debt, buying a car on credit, thinking that being a driver would be profitable and legal. How can you be expected to live and build a future when this company [Uber] can deactivate your account at any moment so that you no longer receive work, and yesterday they dropped their fares without any discussion."

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