Argentine Prosecutor Asks For Local Uber Executives to Be Jailed
An Argentine prosecutor asked a judge on Monday to jail local executives of ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc and a court ordered the company’s mobile application to be shut down following protests from taxi drivers’ unions.
In April, a Buenos Aires court said the company was in violation of local transportation standards and ordered it to stop operating. The application continued online nonetheless.
In Buenos Aires, taxi drivers have blocked streets during protests against the company, saying that it undercuts them by paying its drivers less than what unionized drivers earn.
“Uber executives never ceased in their infringements and have continued to completely ignore judicial orders, continuing the illegal activity,” said a statement posted on the Buenos Aires prosecutors’ website.
“It has been nine months since company executives started violating the order that the company be closed, and they continue to make improper use of public space,” the statement added.
Local judge Maria Fernanda Botana ordered that the company’s mobile network be shut down countrywide, the statement said.
The San Francisco-based company, which has three days to appeal the judge’s ruling, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The prosecutors’ statement said that if a judge grants the request for Uber executives to be put in jail, that order would also be open to appeal for three days before any arrests are made.
Uber has clashed with government authorities in many cities and countries around the world. Taxi services and labor groups have been frequent opponents of the Silicon Valley startup.
Some traditional yellow and black Buenos Aires taxis sport signs saying “No Uber”. Signs have also been posted on billboards and buildings saying “Uber = Fake Taxis”.
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The Argentine Uber application was still working an hour after the prosecutors’ office issued the statement.
In June, the company said on its Argentine website that it had no plans of slowing down even after some users reported local credit cards were blocked from Uber’s application.
“In spite of the obstacles that continue to be put in our path, Uber’s business and plans for its expansion continue,” the June post said.