By Business A.M.
The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON), comprising drivers under the platform of e-hailing companies including Uber and Bolt, has commenced a nationwide protest.
The union, which decried the low fare increase by the ride-hailing transport companies despite the over 200 per cent hike in the price of petrol across the country, said it has no other option but to withdraw services of its drivers from the general public until the situation is addressed.
A statement made available by Ibrahim Ayoade, the union’s general secretary, noted that the increase by the app-based firms stood between 25 to 30 percent, which was far from the union’s demand for a 200 percent increase, and a 50 percent reduction in commission respectively,
The drivers, who said they could no longer work under these conditions, noted that they had previously appealed to the companies to reduce their commissions on the ground that they did not reflect industry benchmark commissions.
“We are using this opportunity to call on fleet managers, driver-partners and app-based transport workers across Nigeria to support this strike fully and understand that our services must be withdrawn during this protest and a moratorium or waiver should be given to all drivers on rentals or hire purchase,” the union stated.
According to the union, its technical team is versed with the operation and technicality of ride-hailing companies, and by its calculations, any app company can break even charging below five per cent.
The union recalled that a flat commission of 10 per cent or 50 per cent off the current commission was recommended during its last meeting, as it believes this will help the members to cope with maintenance costs, spare parts and various overhead costs and the current fuel increase.
“We can no longer tolerate any act of dictatorial practices by any app company because we are workers and as an organised union, we have written several letters to these companies for a round table discussion where we can look at various areas of concern and dialogue but they have remained adamant with a deliberate intention to avoid responsibility,” it said.
As a result of what it described as “insensitivity”, the union is directing all its members across the nation to shut down their service on all ride-hailing applications from Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in protest against every dictatorial practice and lack of concern for the welfare and security of App-Based Transport workers of Nigeria.