Uber temporarily suspends Brussels service in first for Europe

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BRUSSELS, Sep 30 (Businesshala) – Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) joined the protests of its drivers in Brussels on Thursday with an unprecedented suspension of its service in the Belgian capital.

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Uber said in a blog that rules before 1995 bar drivers from using smartphones, meaning that Uber uses the app to pick up customers and drive them to the risk of losing their vehicles.

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“This is not acceptable in 2021,” Uber said, waiting seven years for reforms to add to the sector.

In an email to customers, the hail ride company said its services would be unavailable for three hours in the morning because the Brussels government had failed to present a reform plan before the summer, contrary to its pledge to do so.

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Uber said the suspension was “extraordinary and unprecedented” in Europe and stood at 2,000 independent drives who use its app daily and who are “afraid of their jobs and concerned for their future.”

During the suspension, hundreds of Uber drivers drove their cars in a procession through central Brussels to the regional premier’s office, which was met by a delegation.

The Brussels government said on Tuesday it had prepared a draft law to improve rules for taxi and ride-hailing services.

Reporting by Marine Strauss; Editing by Philipp Blenkinsop and Bernadette Baum

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