Uber drivers in Brussels may soon be out of a job after a ruling from the city’s court of appeal making an extension from a 2015 cease-and-desist order, Bloomberg writes.
The order came down against an older service to drivers which hire cars and offer taxi services from the Uber app, according to the ride-hailing giant. The company’s relations with Brussels authorities and local taxi firms have been strained since it first rolled out there in 2014 – the next year, Uber had to do away with its UberPop service, letting people use their own cars to offer rides in the city.
There will be a few hundred drivers with licenses from a nearby Flemish region who can still use Uber – but drivers in Brussels will not be able to take trips from 6 p.m. on Friday.
Laurent Slits, head of Belgium for Uber, said in a statement that the company was “deeply concerned” about the state of the 2,000 drivers it employs in Brussels, who the company says will “lose their ability to generate earnings.”
Bloomberg notes that it’s possible that Uber will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court, though it’s unknown if the company plans to do so.
The company’s employment practices have come under fire numerous times before, including in America where a California bill aimed to re-classify the workers there as full employees with benefits rather than contractors.
Ride-hailing prices are up in the pandemic, and that has sent some Americans running back to traditional taxicabs.
That trend is happening in big cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Hansu Kim, the president of Flywheel, which is used by San Francisco cab companies, has said the company has seen a 15% to 20% increase in app downloads since the beginning of summer 2021.
And New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says trips had risen from 1.3 million in January to around 3 million in September.
Read more: Customers Calling Cabs Again as Uber/Lyft Prices Rise