Digital taxi operators to begin strike today

Digital taxi operators to begin strike today

Taxi drivers are set to down their tools from Monday, July 15 paralyzing the majority of digital-based cab hailing services in protest of collapse of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached with taxi firms in July 2018.

The strike will involve members affiliated to Uber, Taxify and all other taxi applications.

In a statement issued on Sunday, taxi Drivers and Partners Association of Kenya Secretary General Waweru Jamaicah said they are demanding better working terms, a sustainable business model and introduction of online taxi regulations.

“We’re sorry to inform you that you’ll not enjoy taxi hailing services from 15th July, 2019. All our Drivers & Partners members affiliated to Uber, Taxify and all other taxi APPS have issued a strike notice… Please plan accordingly to avoid any inconveniences,” read the statement.

In a letter addressed to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and served to the Nairobi County Government, dated Thursday July 11, 2019, the drivers represented in the Digital Taxi Forum (DTF) announced the start of an indefinite go-slow seeing no further recourse to their distress.

“We are sad to report that nothing substantial has come out of the MOU to date because the digital taxi app companies never honoured the deal citing diverse excuses,” read DTF’s letter in part.

Drivers drawn from the digital taxi app companies including Uber, Bolt (formerly Taxify) and Little Cab had on July 11, 2018 reached a return-to-work formula in the MOU, ending an 11-day stretch of an outage of ride hailing platforms after agreeing on key adjustments to pricing.

A year on, the drivers are yet to see any substantive move to real incomes derived from the platforms, this even as the digital firms remain disengaged in reaching the previously agreed amicable settlement.

According to DTF President John Kimani, the engagement with the app operators commenced immediately after the signing of the MOU even as confusion strikes the enforcement of agreed pricing terms.

Additional reporting by Kepha Muiruri