From New York and Seattle, to Paris, Berlin, London and Bruxelles, taxi drivers’ protest against Uber doesn’t stop and has recently exploded in Milan. Last week taxi drivers’ wildcat strike in Milan catched the attention of local politics and public opinion on Uber business model and split people positions between conservative-analogical and progressive-digital.
Italian Public Transportation Minister joined taxi drivers’ cause by declaring Uber as an “illegal” service, while Prime Minister Renzi expressed an open position and positive evaluation of the service, having personally tried it in New York.
The social sentiment analysis during the days of the strike, between May 18th and May 25th tracked 8,400 posts containing the keyword “uber”, mainly coming from Twitter, showing highest peaks on the days of May 21st and 22nd, for a total of 42 millions of potential impressions.
During the same days, the keywords “taxi drivers strike” generated a volume of 1,581 posts and 6,9 millions of potential impressions.
In particular, conversations about “taxi drivers strike”, that during past strikes appeared concentrated on the days of the service’s interruption, this time lasted longer and were combined with the keyword “uber”, showing a general concern about the impact of the strike on the Italian openness to Innovation.
Several opinions agree on the “surreal” character of the protest, as showed in the following top re-tweets, stating comments such as: “After taxi drivers, restaurants will now strike against good cooking grandmas”; “Strike continues ‘till tomorrow…I think I will call Uber”; “ A taxi driver striking against uber is like a postman protesting against Gmail”.
Also Neelie Kroess, European Commissioner for the Digital Innovation expressed in favour of Uber and against taxi drivers violent protest, suggesting a dialogue.
In the meantime, according to Wall Street Journal unconfirmed reports, Uber is negotiating 500 millions dollar funding, that will bring the overall value of the app to 12 billions of dollars, trusting the success of its business and suggesting, by mentioning a famous Darwin’s quote, not to use strenght, but the ability to adapt to change.