The dissatisfaction among taxi drivers at Eindhoven Airport has already reached a peak today with a strike in response to a change in the fare policy, communicated by RVC Nederland BV via email. This company has regulated access to the airport's taxi concession strip since February 2022 and handles the associated finances. The change means that drivers are no longer allowed to settle the extra airport surcharge with the customer, a practice that was common until now after paying the six euros for access to the taxi stand.
The consequences of the strike are noticeable, an empty queue on one side and yet the unabated arrival and departure of taxis picking up customers. Striking taxi drivers are expressing their frustration not only with the new fare structure but also with colleagues who choose to continue working. One of the strikers said: “We are striking today and know that we have no turnover. Yet we must do this to secure our future.”
While Jan Waalen from Omroep Brabant is also among the strikers story is trying to get a spokesperson who wants to appear in front of the camera, our own journalists are approached with the question where their loyalty lies, accompanied by the warning: “don't film, are you for or against the taxi drivers?” These incidents underscore the tense atmosphere at the airport, where strikers and non-strikers battle over their version of what is right.
The management of RVC, neither Henny Kamphorst, the director/owner of the company, nor representatives of Eindhoven Airport have so far wanted to comment on the situation, according to the local broadcaster. This silence fuels the unrest and leaves drivers with more questions than answers. The conflict now unfolding at Eindhoven Airport is a microcosm of the broader challenges the taxi industry faces when it comes to adapting to new regulations and fare structures, while also trying to compete in a changing market.
Today's strike is a clear signal from the taxi drivers to the airport managers and the company involved that there is a limit to the extent to which they are willing to see their income shrink. It is a situation that the taxi industry will be watching closely as the outcome may set a precedent for how such conflicts are handled in the future.
Last year, Eindhoven Airport opted for an open market principle in which all taxi companies can participate register with the handler to access the airport boarding market, pick up or drop off wheelchair-bound passengers or pick up passengers from ordered rides. According to Jaap Verheijen – Manager Parking & Mobility services Eindhoven Airport, the market now regulates the quality itself. Mystery visits are also part of the quality control. Passengers are called in, unannounced, to use the taxi services at Eindhoven Airport and to report extensively about this to both RVC and the airport.