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Drivers threaten strike against bolt, Uber, others over ill treatment

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Uber app. Photo; CNBCFM

Drivers, under the e-hailing platforms for Uber and Bolt, have disclosed plans to embark on strike action against the ride-hailing services over unfavourable business practices.

Besides, the drivers said the two app providers took unilateral decisions, fixed inequitable commissions for themselves, unhealthy trip fares, and denied them the right to belong to a union.

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However, the drivers, under the auspices of the Professional E-Hailing Drivers & Private-Owners Association (PEDPA), said the ignoble practice of the ride-sharing platform was constantly maltreating drivers and leading to poor delivery of service.

In a letter to the app-hailing companies dated April 1st, titled:’ Re: Introduction of professional e-hailing drivers and private- owners association and request for synergy meeting’, stated that in spite of several letters to the e-hailing companies, Uber and Bolt has failed to honour PEPDA’s request for a meeting to discuss issues beneficial to all e – hailing drivers in Nigeria and to fashion out harmonious relationship that will benefit, dignify and improve the standard of living of e – hailing drivers/private car owners as well as the general standard of e – hailing business in Nigeria.

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The letter jointly signed by PEDPA’s National President, Idris Shonuga, and National Secretary, Titilayo Ajani, read: “We are saddened that despite the unprecedented increase in the price of fuel, motor vehicles spare parts, food items and other essential items/commodities in Nigeria and rather than the e-hailing companies considering fixing a new and reasonable fare in line with the unprecedented increase, your company has recklessly continued to maintain the low fare and/or reduce the fare payable per trip by the riders thereby impoverishing hard-working young Nigerians who were diligently and lawfully trying to make a decent living.

“We have also noticed that Uber and Bolt have unilaterally continued to block drivers without any justifiable reason and without any opportunity to defend allegation, if any, against them thereby denying them their fundamental right to a fair hearing.”

Consequently and in view of the nonchalant attitude, continuing abuse, unfriendly/inhuman treatment, and unjustifiable unilateral blockage of e – hailing drivers from the e-hailing companies database in Nigeria, PEPDA shall be compelled and left with no other option than to moblise/organize its members for an embarrassing protest against the companies should you fail to meet with the leadership of the union on or before the close of business on April 15, 2021, to fashion out beneficial arrangements that will better the lives and standard of living of all e – hailing drivers in Nigeria.

The drivers also noted that they would consider legal action in court to seek appropriate damages and injunctive remedies against the e-hailing companies.

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