The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria, representing drivers who work for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Bolt, has announced its plan to initiate a nationwide protest starting today.
News About Nigeria reports that the union intends to cease providing services to the general public in order to draw attention to their grievances.
The drivers are expressing their dissatisfaction with the recent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, and the inadequate fare adjustments implemented by the ride-hailing companies.
According to the union’s statement, the fare increase offered by the app-based firms ranges from 25 to 30 percent, which falls far short of the union’s demands for a 200 percent fare increase and a 50 percent reduction in commission.
The drivers have reached a point where they can no longer continue working under these unfavorable conditions.
They had previously appealed to the companies to reduce their commissions, arguing that the current rates are not in line with industry standards.
However, their appeals were ignored, prompting the drivers to take more assertive action.
The union is urging all app-based workers throughout the country to join forces in this fight until their demands are met.
They believe that the ride-hailing companies can achieve breakeven by charging less than five percent commission.
The union has even proposed a flat commission rate of 10 percent or a 50 percent reduction from the current commission during their last meeting.
They argue that such adjustments would help them cover expenses related to vehicle maintenance, spare parts, and various overhead costs, including the recent surge in fuel prices.
Having exhausted their attempts to engage in a constructive dialogue with the companies, the union is now taking a stand against what they perceive as dictatorial practices and a lack of concern for the welfare and security of app-based transport workers in Nigeria.
They have written numerous letters to the companies, urging them to participate in round table discussions to address the concerns raised.
However, the companies have shown no willingness to take responsibility or address the issues at hand.
Therefore, in response to the companies’ insensitivity, the union has instructed all its members across the nation to suspend their services on all ride-hailing applications starting from Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
This move serves as a protest against the dictatorial practices exhibited by the companies and their failure to prioritize the welfare and security of app-based transport workers in Nigeria.