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Uber Drivers and Partners Go on Strike in Abuja

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Uber Drivers and Partners Go on Strike in Abuja

Drivers for Uber, the popular ride-hailing service are presently on strike in Abuja. It seems that there has been huge dissatisfaction by both partners and drivers in the manner in which certain issues have been handled, or rather in this case, not handled in view of recent economic realities and challenges faced by them.

This does not seem to be a good time for Uber in view of the recent court decision in England to treat Uber drivers as employees and not self-employed, thus, being entitled to minimum wage.

According to a partner who would rather be anonymous, there have been grievances by both drivers and partners which led to a meeting held in June between the partners and Uber representatives. During that session it was agreed that there would be regular meetings in order to address the various problems raised. Unknowingly to the partners, that would be their last meeting.

The partner stated that some of the problems included high operating costs, no incentives amongst others. Initially once profitable, it barely just provides little lately. According to him, a driver could formerly earn as much as N150,000 in a week but due to present situations, the highest earning driver made about N86,000 last week from 77 rides. Despite this, there are still no incentives for partners, Uber Nigeria still gets 25% and whatever is left is channeled back to car maintenance, fuelling, data subscription, driver’s pay and the rest to the partner. According to onesureinsurance.co.uk some uber driver’s car insurance can be increased dramatically by their occupation.

In a mail to Uber informing them of this strike, the Partners said,

“The economic changes we are experiencing has made some trips quite unprofitable, if not impracticable. The evident nonchalant attitude to our request is seen as further worsening an already difficult business situation for Partners. It re-emphasizes the perception that this is not a partnership. We have looked at our operations and decided to begin to trim off the inefficient trips. Partners have decided that starting Monday 31st October, 2016, trips to and from the airport will not be completed.”

 

Due to these issues, some of the demands raised by the partners include;

  • Rider identity verification through valid and matching credit/debit cards, due to security concerns.
  • Detailed explanation of completion rate calculation, and inclusion of completion rates in app/dashboard.
  • Increased rider education through the app.
  • Requirements for destinations to be entered by riders before they can make requests, so the rider is clear on fare estimate before trip.
  • Penalties for long waits after driver arrival at pickup location.
  • Increase in per minute rates to N30/min.
  • Base fare increase to N300 (from N220).
  • Airport fare increase to N4000 (from N3000) and inclusion of N400 toll.
  • Removal of peak hour conditions for high flier incentives.
  • Rounding up of fares to the nearest N50.
  • 24-hour limit to rider rating the driver.
  • Clearer procedures for reporting and resolving issues

So far, there has been no statement or comment on the issue by Uber and users are presently experiencing surges up to thrice the usual.

If you’re keen on keeping tabs on the strike, and all the issues about it, you can follow the #UberAbujaStrike on Twitter where partners and drivers are sharing their grievances.

 

 

 

 

A sports and nature lover, art enthusiast and rookie globe trotter. I'm also in love with Africa, tech and politics.

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