Uber, Taxify drivers to go on strike today
Taxi drivers will on Monday go on strike in a push for implementation of better pricing by the dominant app companies, which they say have continued to ignore terms of a deal entered in July, last year.
According to the taxi drivers, US-based Uber and Estonian software firm Taxify have refused to negotiate in good faith with the drivers’ representatives regarding the various changes they have been making without proper consultations.
Mr John Kimani, president Digital Taxi Forum, says they will remain on strike until an agreement is reached that will be amicably acceptable by all parties and stakeholders involved.
“We have no other recourse than to begin our indefinite strike from July 15. We will be picketing and holding peaceful demonstrations daily until our concerns are addressed,” Mr Kimani said.
The taxi drivers are aggrieved that the dominant companies have been engaging in price wars, much to their detriment and third party vehicle owners who are never consulted on changes.
The drivers say this has led to all-time low fares that have reduced their earnings to an unsustainable level.
In July, last year, at the Ministry of Transport, the Digital Taxi App companies (Uber, Bolt formerly Taxify, Little Cab, and others) and the Digital Taxi Forum, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create and establish a workable solution to end the conflict.
Unfortunately, nothing substantial has come out of the MOU to date. Mr Kimani says this is because the digital taxi app firms never honoured the deal, giving excuses for not honouring the same.
“Our members feel short changed. They have been patient enough awaiting implementation of the MOU to no avail,” Mr Kimani.
The Ministry of Transport had in July, 2018, agreed to sign a deal with digital taxi drivers after a lengthy meeting to iron out grievances that had also seen them down their tools.
Transport PS Paul Maringa, who chaired the talks at his Transcom House office, had stated that the department had agreed to sign a MOU with the drivers that includes a pricing structure.